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Research Metrics

Metrics included in this guide

Publications and Citations

  • Scholarly Output 
  • Citation Count 
  • Citations per Output 
  • h Index 
  • Impact Factor (incl. SNIP, SJR)
  • Field-Weighted Citation Impact 
  • Outputs in Top Percentiles 
  • Publications in Top Journal Percentiles
  • Top 5 Journals Metrics 
  • Publishing Track Record 
  • Library Holdings
  • Other Metrics


  • Collaboration and Impact
  • Academic-Corporate Collaboration and Impact

Societal Impact

  • Altmetrics 
  • Public Engagement 

Data sources for metrics

Metrics can be drawn from a wide variety of different data sources.

Data sources are:


Scopus (Elsevier) – Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature on fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities. Includes books, journals, online tools, bibliographic databases and newsletters. Provides tools to track, analyse and visualise research. 

UniSC uses Scopus for metrics in grant applications, internal reports, the ERA evaluation and the THE evaluation.


SciVal (Elsevier) – Using data from Scopus, SciVal provides more advanced bibliometric measures than those available in Scopus and Web of Science.  SciVal also allows you to benchmark individual researchers, groups and institutions, as well as look at existing and potential collaborations.

UniSC uses SciVal for metrics in grant applications, internal reports, the ERA evaluation and the THE evaluation.

Web of Science

Web of Science (Thomsen Reuters) – Previously known as ISI Web of Knowledge, this database provides a collection of full text and citation index information gathered from scholarly journals, books, book series, reports and conferences.

UniSC uses Web of Science for metrics in grant applications, internal reports, and the ERA evaluation.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar – Search tool for full text and citations of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories and universities.       

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UniSC Research Bank – Institutional research repository for the University of the Sunshine Coast. Provides open access to University’s scholarly research output.

Libraries Australia

Libraries Australia – National Library of Australia database of items held in most Australian academic, research national, state, public and special libraries.   

WorldCat – Union catalogue that itemizes the collections of 72,000 libraries in 170 countries.

altmetrics – Provides altmetric data to track and analyse the online activity around scholarly literature.


ORCID – Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers and supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities.  Unlike ResearcherID and Scopus Author Identifier, ORCID is not limited by a commercial citation database provider.


PlumX – PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment.

What are metrics

Research metrics, sometimes called bibliometrics, are often used as a measure of quality or impact of research outputs.  There are many different metrics used to measure the influence of journals, and understanding their definitions, uses and limitations will help you make decisions about where you publish your research.  Knowing the impact of your research can be invaluable when you’re applying for funding, seeking a new position or working towards a promotion.

Metrics are relative to a discipline.  Different disciplines have different rates of publication, and so therefore have different metrics.  The sciences will often have larger metric numbers than the arts and humanities.

Metrics can broadly be broken up into 4 categories:

  • publications and citation metrics
  • collaboration metrics
  • societal impact metrics
  • benchmarking

Each of these types of metrics will be examined in this guide.

Telling Your Story - Research Impact Narrative

Telling Your Story

Guide from Bernard Becker Medical Library provides examples of how to go beyond the numbers and provide contextual information.

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