Publication metrics

Researchers are increasingly required to provide evidence of the impact their research publications and other research outputs have made. Citation counts are just one measure of research impact.

Discipline-specific metrics

Publishing norms and citation patterns can differ between disciplines. Consequently, there are different ways to track and measure research impact across subject areas.

Your Liaison Librarian can advise you on:

  • The metrics and data sources relevant to your discipline that can measure and highlight the impact of your publications and research outputs.
  • The issues and limitations of using these indicators and tools within your discipline.

Citation analysis and journal ranking

Citation indexes are the most common method of evaluating the impact of research publications by individual authors, they include:

Research evaluation tools analyse the research output of institutions, their departments and researchers. These tools can also assist with benchmarking the research performance of institutions and their researchers. These tools analyse citation data, harvested from a citation index. The library subscribes to:

  • SciVal (based on Scopus data)
  • InCites (based on Web of Science data)

There are a number of tools for investigating the quality of journals.

For more information on the individual publication metrics, including what they measure and when they should be used, please consult The Metrics Toolkit. This is a resource for researchers and evaluators that provides guidance on how each metric is calculated, where you can find it, and how each should (and should not) be applied.


Traditional, citation-based metrics can take a significant amount of time to indicate the impact of your work. Altmetrics are non-traditional metrics that can indicate the level of attention your work is attracting online. While altmetrics do not necessarily indicate impact, they can give you an early signal of the impact of your research.

Altmetrics may include:

  • number of article views
  • number of tweets about a work
  • number of Facebook posts
  • number of mentions in news sources
  • number of mentions in policy documents.

QUT Library subscribes to Altmetric Explorer, which analyses mentions in social and traditional media, policy documents and much more.

Tracking citations and altmetrics

The library offers tailored workshops to support applicants in finding information appropriate to relevant funding rules and instructions.

Please contact your Liaison Librarian or the Research Support Manager for more information.

Citation analysis and benchmarking

Citation analysis reports can be requested for the purpose of supporting Category 1 grants as well as larger grant applications (e.g. NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence; ARC Centres of Excellence; Cooperative Research Centres), external reviews (e.g. professional accreditations of research groups) and establishment of research centres. Researchers and research support staff may request a citation analysis and /or benchmarking reports. These reports are created using a number of tools and measures, including SciVal, InCites, Scopus, QUT ePrints, Web of Science and Altmetric Explorer.

Please note

Depending on the purpose of the report and the level of analysis required, reports typically take from one to four weeks to prepare.

Please contact your Liaison Librarian or the Research Support Manager for more information.