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Research Impact Assessment (Health Sciences)

Use this guide to explore methods and tools for assessing your research impact, including citation tracking and altmetrics.

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For more information, or to schedule an individual or group consultation, contact the THL Research Impact Core.

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Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2038

Getting Started

This research guide provides an overview of several metrics, methods, and tools commonly used in assessing scholarly impact in the health sciences. Researchers, funders, and administrators often use impact assessment to inform decision-making processes including:

  • Grant application
  • Promotion, tenure, and job applications
  • Selecting journals in which to publish
  • Identifying new collaborators
  • Faculty recruitment
  • Performance reporting

Use the navigation pane on the left to explore the guide. For assistance with resources related to impact metrics, methods, and tools, contact the library Research Impact Core at

Highlighed Resource: Altmetric Explorer for Institutions

Take advantage of the U-M Library's one-year pilot to Altmetric Explorer for Institutions to track attention around your research publications in social media, news, and policy resources. Create a personal account to export results and save searches and alerts. Learn more about Altmetric Explorer for Institutions.


Benefits and Limitations of Impact Metrics

Quantitative publication metrics offer a relatively quick and seemingly concrete measure of research impact and are used widely in the assessment of academic health sciences research. However, metrics can lead to over-simplification and sometimes serve as direct proxies for impact at the expense of other valuable considerations.

Several efforts have led to frameworks that promote the application of assessment metrics as one important aspect of a broader assessment process.

  • The Leiden Manifesto
    Ten principles emanating from the International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators (Leiden University, Netherlands). Encourages the use of robust quantitative and qualitative data "with sensitivity to the aim and nature of the research that is evaluated."
  • The Metric Tide
    Recommendations from a 2014 multidisciplinary study of the United Kingdom research system. Encourages "responsible metrics," with quantitative indicators, expert judgment, and qualitative measures serving as complements to decision making.

Quick Links

  • Scopus
    Provides author H-index, article citation counts and alerts, journal rankings (CiteScore, SJR, and SNIP)
  • Web of Science
    Provides author H-index, article citation counts and alerts, journal rankings (Journal Impact Factor and Eigenfactor Scores
  • Google Scholar @ UM
    Provides limited author H-Index; article citation data based on peer-reviewed literature and grey literature; compatible with Publish or Perish software for in-depth citation reports
  • iCite
    An NIH-developed tool that provides Relative Citation Ratio metrics for NIH-funded papers.
  • Journal Citation Reports
    Provides Journal Impact Factors and publication statistics
    Provides a persistent, cross-platform author identifier to unify your research identity and outputs across the web