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Publication metrics

Citations to research publications and other citation-based metrics are often used as a measure of the impact of research publications.  Not all publication metrics are citation-based, for example collaboration and output indicators.  Metrics can be calculated for an individual article, for an author or journal.  For more details about metrics go to the Metrics section of this guide.

Responsible use of metrics

It is important to remember that quantitative measures are only one method of measuring research reach, and shouldn't replace qualitative measures such as peer review.  When using metrics, you should consider:

  • The weaknesses, strengths and appropriate use of the metrics;
  • What you are attempting to measure and whether metrics are appropriate; and
  • Using multiple metrics, to provide a fuller picture of what is being assessed.

You can find more guidance about the about the responsible use of metrics in research assessment in the following sources:

Where to look for metrics

Citation indexes can provide a range of different metrics at an article and author level, including citation counts (author and article), h-index (author) and output (author).  QUT Library subscribes to:

There are other freely available options such as:

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)
  • The Lens (also has a freely available option)

If you're looking for a free option, you can access Dimensions, which has a free version.

A number of tools are available for calculating the impact of journals. 

See and Tools to find metrics for more detail on how to use these tools.

Other journal quality lists

There are a number of journal quality lists compiled by different entities.  Many of them are discipline specific.  See below for a list of a few: