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Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity (RSCA) Impact

Why is Research Impact Important?

Knowing the impact of your research can help:

  • Support applications for tenure or promotion
  • Justify requests for grants and other funding
  • Quantify and determine how your research is being used
  • Identify other researchers or institutions that are using your work
  • Identify other researchers and potential collaborators in your field

Impact Measures & Metrics

articles vectorCitation Analysis or Citation Tracking, involves identifying articles, books, or other materials that have cited a specific work. Citation analysis allows researchers to see who is citing their work, and is also often used to measure researcher and article impact.   

academic building atop publication vectorJournal Impact is most commonly assessed using impact factor. A measure of the frequency with which the "average article" in a journal has been cited in a particular year, the impact factor helps researchers evaluate a journal's relative importance, especially when compared to others in the same field. Keep in mind that not all journals are ranked.

academic building atop publication vectorBook Impact can include reviews of a book, both scholarly and popular, publisher influence, sales figures (when available), and numbers of libraries that own the title. In some cases, the number of owning libraries is not enough evaluative information but, instead, which specific libraries own the title as well.

scholar profile vectorResearcher Impact is a measure of author productivity and impact over time.


press vectorSocial/Cultural Impact is relevant for those who may not necessarily have their creative works cited in scholarly literature. Metrics can include information in news publications, reviews, recordings, screenings, exhibitions, grants awarded, and prizes won -- all indicators of a media creator's impact and influence. 

chat bubbles vectorAltmetrics are measures of research impact that supplement citations. They measure the wider, societal impacts of scholarly works by tracking how they are discussed, shared, saved, read, and reused by scholars and the public. 

bar graph vectorIf you want to learn how to increase the impact and distribution of your work, see the Enhance Your Impact page on left.

This guide was inspired by and includes materials/information from: