Research Impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes in academia and society. The impact of your research can be determined a number of ways.
Why measure and track research impact?
The Journal Impact Factor is typically determined by comparing two components: the number of citations a journal receives over the previous two years (A), and the number of articles that journal published over the same two years (B). A/B equals the Impact Factor of the journal.
There is no one way to measure research impact. As methods of research, scholarship, and scholarly communication expand, new metrics are developed in an attempt to improve upon existing methods and to measure new ways of publication. Dissatisfaction with existing metrics has also inspired the creation of new methods. As different disciplines place more importance on a particular metric and disregard another, know that research measurement can be fallible, deserves investigation, and having more methods of measurement is a good thing. XKCD comic below.
While research impacts are an academia standard, unbiased use of data is imperative. When exploring research impacts, especially impact factors, please keep the following in mind:
Impact Factors Within a Discipline:
Impact Factors Across Disciplines:
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