Measuring Research Impact: Home

Metrics Methods and Evaluation

Responsible metrics

Leiden manifesto - Ten principles to guide research evaluation

DORA - San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment


The impact of scientific publications

What can be measured?

  • Publications: per year, per author
  • Number of citations: per publication, per author, per journal
  • Publication type: articles, conference papers, dissertations, monographs, reports
  • Collaboration: between researchers, groups, organizations, countries

What impact can be measured?

  • Individual, group, institution, subject area or geographic region
  • Article level
  • Publication channel methods:
    - quantitative  - journals (e.g. Impact Factor)
    - qualitative - journals, series, conferences, publishers (e.g. JuFo)

Quali/quanti evaluation

Four ways to measure impact
Source: Priem, J.; Taraborelli, D.; Groth, P.; Neylon, C. Altmetrics: a manifesto 10.2.2015

Differences between disciplines

Different disciplines have markedly different publishing and citing patterns. These include:

  • Publication types (e.g. articles vs. monographs)
  • Choice of language; international nature of the scientific communication differs
  • Publishing process (length, frequency, delay)
  • Co-authoring and order of authors
  • The ageing speed of publications
  • Degree of popularization
  • Citation practices (the numbers and attention expectancies vary)


  • Research impact measures are not comparable across disciplines.
  • Quantitative methods (metrics) have to be adapted to suit the discipline in question

Metrics services by the Library

Helsinki University Library has a metrics team. You can contact us for advice and to discuss your metrics needs.


Uses of evaluation

  • Publication activities of universities as a funding criterion (Ministry of Education 2015-)
  • Research evaluation and management
  • Benchmarking
  • University rankings and institutional publication activity
  • Recruitments