Research impact is a measure of the significance and importance of academic work within a scholarly community.
Bibliometrics are the use of quantitative tools to study publications and other written material.
Citation metrics focus on the statistical patterns and measurements of citations.
Citation analysis can be used as a quantifiable measure of academic output and research impact, which can help inform decisions on publication, promotion, and tenure.
Altmetrics is increasingly becoming an alternative and important method of measuring the impact of scholarly output and allows for social media tracking by various indicators such as number of tweets, blog posts, likes, bookmarks, etc. and are more timely wider-ranging measures of how people—both other researchers and the general public have demonstrated interested in an individual's work and contributions.
Tools and methods of citation analysis are used to determine:
- How many times a publication or author has been cited
- Who is citing a publication or author
- A journal's impact factor (relative importance in a field or discipline)
- An author's published output ranking in a field or discipline.
Because of the limitations of each method, it is important to use multiple methods, sources, and tools to get a fuller and more complete analysis. Increasingly, the research community is studying how to assess the value of cooperation and collaboration among colleagues, scholars and scientists, with barriers being reduced and geography more global. New metrics and values will likely emerge through different sources, to complement and extend already existing methods and products.
Image credit: http://altmetrics.org/