5. Module: Assessment of research impact and bibliometrics

Decorative image - paging through a book.

In this module you will

  • Learn bibliometric terminology (e.g. citations, h-index, impact factor) and research evaluation based on scientific publications.
  • Use bibliometric methods for selecting publishing channels for your needs.
  • Evaluate research impact with different tools.

To complete this module

  1. Read all the study material and watch all the linked videos.
  2. Complete the module assignment in Moodle (see Module 5).

NB: This module is 100% self-studying. Optional tasks (in addition to obligatory Moodle assignment) at different sections of the course material will help you to deepen your learning.


The research evaluation market is booming. “Ranking,” “metrics,” “h-index,” and “impact factors” are reigning buzzwords. Academic research performance is increasingly evaluated at various levels: in international comparisons, in global university rankings, as criteria for the allocation of funding between and within academic institutions, in the appointment of scholars to academic positions, and in research grant decisions. Thus, reliable, objective methods for managing and measuring research performance are needed.

Quantitative indicators of publishing activity, research collaboration and publications’ impact are widely used as a measure when assessing research performance. These indicators are the core of bibliometrics, i.e. the statistical analysis of scientific publications and citations. Please, acquaint yourself with the bibliometric world in the following sections of this module.

However, keep in mind that impact is much more than bibliometrics. There are numerous ways how to enhance your research’s impact. Here are 10 of those.  Which ones could you adopt? Perhaps even all of them?

Contents of this module

Bibliometrics: evaluating research via publications
Viability of bibliometrics
Bibliometric indicators
Bibliometric analysis tools and databases
University rankings

Further information

IATUL Research Impact Things. 2020. Study material for self-studying about research impact and metrics. Provided by IATUL Special Interest Group, Metrics and Research Impact.

Talvinen, K. 2020. Added value – Researcher’s guide to impact and winning proposals. Helda Open Books.

(8/2023 JN)

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