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Research Guides@Tufts

Measuring Research Impact

Learn about journal metrics, author metrics and altmetrics.

Research Impact Overview

What is Research Impact?

Research impact is the contribution that research makes to academia, society and the economy.

  • Academic impact: Advances in knowledge, discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning
  • Societal impact: Benefits to individuals, communities and nations by improving quality of life, health, and the effectiveness of public services and policies
  • Economic impact: Stimulating economic growth, and enhancing competitiveness, locally, regionally and nationally

Why is it important to measure research impact?

Research impact is evaluated for the purposes of:

  • Application for employment, promotion or tenure
  • Grant proposals, renewals and progress reports
  • Discovering how work is being utilized
  • Ensuring that work is appropriately credited

The preceding statements were adapted from the National Science Foundation, Research Councils UK, and the Assessing the Impact of Research Project at the Bernard Becker Medical Library.

How should research impact be measured?

Evaluation of research impact requires a holistic approach, incorporating multiple quantitative and qualitative metrics it its analysis.  Depending on the specialty, different measures may be more important than others, but none rely on just one tool or method.

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