Measuring research visibility
There are many ways of measuring the attention and impact that your research is having. This section introduces you to some tools and services 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.
Citation indicators and alt-metrics
Citations are used as an indicator of research quality 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!