Researchers and their research are assessed in many different ways: for jobs, promotions, funding and national research assessments. Researchers may also be naturally curious about the attention and impact that their research is having. This page introduces you to some research assessment tools and support available to you at Loughborough.
Responsible use of metrics
Loughborough University has a Responsible Metrics Policy and all use of bibliometrics by University staff should adhere to this.
Funders are increasingly requesting applicants to submit a narrative CV instead of a traditional CV in their funding applications. Narrative CVs require researchers to describe not just what they did but how they did it. They seek evidence of a wider range of contributions, skills and experiences than traditional approaches. They also make space for researchers to describe the effects on their CV of any career gaps or periods in industry.
UKRI now require funding applicants to complete a Resumé for Research & Innovation and have provided some guidance on how to complete one. The University of Glasgow have also produce a free Online Course which might be helpful.
Citation indicators and alt-metrics
Citations are used as an indicator of research impact by league tables, funders and increasingly, employers. Whilst controversial and imperfect, they are here to stay and it is important that individuals know how to improve the visibility and impact of their research. A 5-minute video introduction to citations is available. There are a wide range of indicators that all calculate citation impact in slightly different ways.
- Harzing.com has a list of key of metrics relating to individuals
- Journal Metrics has a list of three key metrics relating to journals
- See this video on how the SNIP and SJR are calculated.
Loughborough University subscribes to SciVal a citation benchmarking tool which allows you to analyse and compare the publication and citation performance of individuals, groups, research areas, organisations and countries. You can also identify collaborators and research strengths based on citation data.
Loughborough have produced some step-by-step guides to using SciVal as follows:
- Checking your SciVal profile
- Finding your publication record on SciVal
- Finding collaborators using SciVal
- Using SciVal to support grant applications
Alt-metrics measure the “attention” given to your research via such social media networks. This may include ‘likes’, ‘tweets’, downloads, mentions and records within reference managers. There are two main sources of alt-metric data:
- Altmetric.com provides a range of freely available attention indicators as well as offering a premium service to subscribers. They use a 'donut' logo and provide alt-metric scores based on the attention an output has received. Loughborough staff can find alt-metric donuts on LUPIN and via the Dimensions database.
- Elsevier provide attention indicators through Plum Analytics - a part of the Scopus database Loughborough subscribes to.
These metrics are becoming increasingly important so it is worth making your research as accessible and visible as possible, and think about how it may be perceived by audiences. See this blog post on making sure your work gets the attention it deserves.
Increasingly, citation metrics and alt-metrics are being used to support grant applications to demonstrate the impact and reach of your research. See this useful blog post on "23 diverse metrics to use on your next grant application".
Improving the citedness of your research
There are a wide range of ways you can improve the visibility and therefore the citedness of your research. A journal paper by Ebrahim et al (2013) identifies 33 ways to improve your citation frequency.
Some top tips include:
- Do world-leading research that is original, significant and rigorous.
- Collaborate with highly-cited, preferably international, co-authors.
- Publish in the most visible journal or conference, or with a publisher with significant marketing reach.
- Publish open access where possible.
- Promote your work through academic networking sites.
- Add links to your work in your email signature.
- Take hard copies of your papers and circulate at conferences.
- Write keywords, titles and abstracts for search engine optimisation
- Choose a good article title
- Write a long abstract to improve visibility.
- Judicious self-citation may kick-start interest in your work. Do not over self-cite!