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Research Guides

Medical Library Research Guide

What Are Metrics & Altmetrics?


Faculty metrics are a way to measure an individuals, department or school's scholarly activities. Traditional metrics include the number of publications, the amount of grant funding, the number of presentations, etc. Other measures include the number of citations to specific works. The journal impact factor, found in InCites:Journal Citation Reports, can be used as a quality measure for publications.

Additional measures include:

The h-index is an author-level metric that attempts to measure both the productivity and citation impact of the publications of a scientist or scholar. The index is based on the set of the scientist's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other publications.



Altmetrics is a new measure that may include the number of journal downloads, mentions on social media or blogs, mass media mentions, etc.

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