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A guide to research metrics

What are research metrics?

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.

Top tips when using research metrics

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

You can check the Impact Factor for Taylor & Francis or Routledge journals on Taylor & Francis Online by going to a journal’s home page, where this will be listed next to the journal's cover at the top of the page. If you want to check any individual article's metrics 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).

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.

Find out more about journal metrics on our Editor Resources website, including how to use a range of research metrics to monitor your journal's performance. Covering everything from the impact factor to article usage, this guidance helps journal editors identify the right research metrics for your journal | 12 min read

WATCH | Catch up on Expert View on Journal Metrics webinars.

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.

Research metrics and recognition discussion

Taylor & Francis Scholarly Summit

Go deeper

Article Title Author(s) Journal Year
Robust Ranking of Journal Quality: An Application to Economics Chia-Lin Chang , Esfandiar Maasoumi & Michael McAleer Econometric Reviews 2016
Correlation Between Perception-Based Journal Rankings and the Journal Impact Factor (JIF): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Khalid Mahmood Serials Review 2017
Epistemic Consequences of Bibliometrics-based Evaluation: Insights from the Scientific Community Tommaso Castellani, Emanuele Pontecorvo & Adriana Valente Social Epistemology 2016
Normalised fuzzy index for research ranking Abdel-Rahman Hedar, Alaa Abdel-Hakim & Youseef Alotaibi Behaviour & Information Technology 2018
Making sense of academic work: the influence of performance measurement in Swedish universities Johan Soderlind &Lars Geschwind Policy Reviews in Higher Education 2019

Looking for more?

Metrics toolkit
Responsible metrics

Want more like this? Get tips and talking points for researchers, journal editors and librarians by signing up for email Insights.