Measuring Research Impact: Home

Metrics Methods and Evaluation

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

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

Responsible metrics

The Finnish national guide to publication metrics - The guide introduces the main concepts of publication metrics and methods for analysing different subjects based on publications. The guide presents a wide range of different indicators, data sources and tools. The responsible use of publication metrics plays a central role in the content of the guide, which, in addition to its own chapter, is embedded in other chapters of the guide as a

Leiden manifesto - Ten principles to guide research evaluation

DORA - San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment

Good practice in researcher evaluation - Recommendation for the responsible evaluation of a researcher in Finland



Metrics services by the Library

Helsinki University Library offers services relating to publication metrics. Read more here.

You can contact library's metrics team for advice and to discuss your metrics needs.