A guide to research metrics
What are research metrics? What is an impact factor for a journal? What metrics should you think about when looking to publish your research in a journal, or when making recommendations to colleagues on which journal to submit work to?
Research metrics are quantitative measures that can help you in assessing research outputs, at both article level and at journal level. Use the resources on this page to help you understand what they are and how to use them, whether you’re looking to publish your research, editing a journal or guiding colleagues in your role as a librarian.
3 top tips
- What’s your question? What aspect of research performance do you want to evaluate, and what’s your reason for needing to understand it? Can this be measured, and if so how? Be clear on this and then match your research metric to the question you’re trying to answer.
- Use quantitative (research metrics) with qualitative (opinions). Research metrics are a useful tool but enhance them by gathering expert opinions: ask colleagues and peers for their thoughts too.
- See a more rounded picture. Each metric gets its data from different sources and uses a different calculation (see our guide for more on this). Use at least a couple of metrics to reduce bias and give you a more rounded view – so look at a journal’s Impact Factor but also at the Altmetric details for its most read articles for instance.
N.B. You can check the Impact Factor for Taylor & Francis or Routledge journals on Taylor & Francis Online by going to a journal’s home page, and then check that journal’s most read articles from the ‘Explore’ tabs towards the bottom of the page. Simply click into any of these articles and go to the metrics tab to view that article’s Altmetric data.
Guidance & support
Get an overview of the most common research metrics, what they are, and how they’re calculated in this downloadable guide.
Researchers: metrics can help you select which journal to publish in, and assess the ongoing impact of an individual piece of research (including your own).
- Understanding the Impact Factor | 1 min read
- Measuring impact with article metrics: understanding the Altmetric Attention Score | 3 min read
- Tracking the commercialization of research: patent citations | 3 min read
- VIEWPOINT: Can you publish and still perish? A question of impact, Dr John Harrison, Associate Editor of Regional Studies | 3 min read
Journal editors: Research metrics can help you assess your journal’s standing in the community, raise your journal’s profile, and support you in attracting high-quality submissions.
- Journal citation metrics: an introduction to metrics and their use | 10 min read
- Author metrics and the h-index | 2 min read
- New Scopus metric: CiteScore | 3 min read
- WATCH: Research metrics and recognition panel discussion from the Taylor & Francis Scholarly Summit featuring Clarivate Analytics, Altmetric and Colwiz - Wizdom.ai | 33 min watch
For librarians: Research metrics can help you to select journals for your institution, and analyze their reach and impact. They can also help you assess the impact of research published by those in your institution.
- How research becomes impact: librarians helping faculty use scholarly metrics to select journals, College and Undergraduate Libraries, Marc Vinyard & Jaimie Beth Colvin, Pepperdine University | 30 min read
- Bibliometrics: Understanding author-, article- and journal-level metrics, Serials Review, Margaret Mering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln | 25 min read
- Explore our research metrics guide