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Research Impact

This guide covers some of the more common measures of author, journal, and article impact - what they are, and how to find them.

Science Librarian

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Tiffanie Ford-Baxter
Library North 2020A

What is Research Impact?

Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes to academia and society. Research impact is often measured by either the author, article, or journal. This guide provides information about how you can measure your research impact and potentially increase it by participating in research communities, publishing your research open access, and sharing research data in an open access repository.

What Should I Know?

  • There is no universal agreement on how to measure research impact.
  • Research impact metrics, along with other criteria, can help you determine the importance of a particular piece of research.
  • How we interpret research metrics depends on the discipline and area of research
  • New metrics are frequently created to improve upon existing metrics

Research impact can:

  • Strengthen your case when you apply for promotion or tenure
  • Quantify return on research investment for grant renewals and progress reports
  • Strengthen future funding requests by showing value of your research 
  • Identify who is using your work and confirm that it is appropriately credited
  • Identify collaborators within or outside of your subject 


The guides below were influential in the creation of this guide:

John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300