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Research Impact and Evaluation

About this guide

Assessing quality and importance of work is an ongoing and increasing concern for funders, promotion and tenure committees, and readers with limited time.  This information is valuable in choosing where to publish also.

Impact Factor is one measure of the relative importance of a journal to literature and research. Informed and careful use of the impact data is essential and the following must be kept in mind:

  • The number of times a paper is cited is not a measure of its actual quality.
  • Some tools that measure the impact data do not incorporate books.
  • Certain disciplines have low numbers of journals and usage. One should compare journals or researchers within the same discipline.
  • Review articles are cited more often and can change results.
  • Self-citing may skew results.
  • See also: San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
  • See all: Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics Nature 520, 429–431 (23 April 2015) doi:10.1038/520429a
Nobel Laureates speak out against the role of impact factors in research [] :