Conducting research, writing a journal article, and publishing it are far from easy. However, your work isn’t finished once your article is published. Whether you’re a researcher or someone interested in funding research, article metrics are a great resource when looking for a way to measure impact. In this article, we will discuss journal article metrics and how the impact of your work is measured and quantified.

What Are Journal Article Metrics?

Journal article metrics or article-level metrics are measurements that quantify the impact of your research and give you insight into how your journal article is being used and shared.

These include both traditional metrics and altmetrics (alternative metrics). By combining the two, you can get a more thorough idea of article impact and better understand how your research is being shared and discussed. Because research has a massive impact on the world, measuring societal impact has become more important than ever.

Why Should You Measure the Impact of Your Journal Article?

There are many reasons why knowing the impact of your journal article and research can be beneficial. For example, if you’re applying for a new position or promotion or applying for funding, showing the impact of your research can tip the odds in your favor. If the impact of your research is significant, you can stand out from other candidates.

Additionally, when you work hard on a journal article and publish it, you’re likely curious about its impact. Journal article metrics can show you how much your work has been read, cited, and shared. By understanding metrics and keeping impact in mind, you can better utilize resources and strategies when publishing future research. The results can also help you distribute your journal article more widely and ensure the right people are coming across it.

Types of Article Metrics

Many different methods are used to measure a journal article or research paper’s impact. These consist of both traditional methods such as citations and alternative methods like social media shares.

Traditional Metrics

Traditional metrics have always been popular and continue to be used to measure a journal article’s impact.

Citation Counts

This is the most straightforward metric and consists of how often a work has been cited. The work’s impact is directly related to how many times other researchers and authors have mentioned the research.

Citation Benchmarking

Citation benchmarking also uses citations but compares them with average citations for similar articles. It’s a more thorough comparison since it doesn’t measure citations in isolation. The highest level is the 99th percentile, corresponding to a journal article being in the top 1%. Other factors included in this metric include the type of document in question, the year it was published, and the different disciplines associated with it.

Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI)

Differences in researcher citation behavior can diminish the accuracy of citation-related metrics. Enter the Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI). This metric considers the ratio of the journal article’s citations to the average number of citations for similar articles over a three-year period.

It should also be noted that there are several other traditional metrics to measure impact. However, many of these measure impact as a researcher or author and not individual articles. Popular metrics include the h-index, the g-index, and the i10-index.

Altmetrics (Alternative Metrics)

In an increasingly digital world, the impact of journal articles cannot be fully captured unless you take every aspect into account. One such aspect is social media. Altmetrics refers to metrics that quantify how research is shared and used on different platforms like social media. They look at the research’s impact on non-academic audiences and consider social engagement. Altmetrics include recommendations, comments, mentions, discussions, saves, bookmarks, and more.

Resources for Article-Level Metrics

There are various resources you can use when trying to gain insight into article impact. The following are some of the most useful and popular ones.

PlumX Metrics (Plum Analytics)

PlumX Metrics (Plum Analytics) utilizes citations, captures, usage, social media, and mentions. Thus, the renowned article-level metrics provider uses both traditional metrics (citations) and altmetrics (captures and social media) to provide insight into how research makes an impact. One of the most impressive aspects of PlumX Metrics is that it’s incorporated into many different research products that you likely already use. These include Digital Commons, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and more.

Tools for Citation Analysis

Citation analysis is the most common traditional metric used to measure article impact. There are many resources available for this, including Scopus, Google Scholar, and Web of Science.


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