All research has impact: sometimes on society in general and sometimes on a smaller community of peers. Measuring the impact of research is important for researchers, but also for funding agencies. For instance, having a full overview of the impact of their research can help researchers to visualise this impact in grant applications and the annual evaluations of the institution: showing impact is an obligatory component of assessment. It can also help finding new collaborations with peers or even companies. Impact can be measured in various ways. Traditionally bibliometric measures are used to indicate the impact of research, such as the number of publications and citations of a publication, the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) or even the H-index, an indicator at the author's level.
However, having impact is more than just citation counts, or the journal in which a study has been published. Impact also includes societal impact: the extent to which research is shared and discussed via news outlets, blogs and social media or even mentioned in patents and policy documents. These measures are referred to as alternative metrics, or altmetrics.
The library offers two tools to analyse impact: Scival and the Altmetric Explorer. The former can be used to analyse bibliometric data, and the latter for altmetric data.
SciVal is a bibliometric tool that uses data from Scopus to analyse the research impact of universities, research groups, individuals and even countries. As a researcher you can use SciVal to visualise your research performance and use this in your evaluation report or CV. The bibliometric overview of Svival could inspire you to develop collaboration initiatives with peers.
The Altmetric Explorer from Altmetric.com is a tool that can be used to create an overview of where and how often your research is interacted with. It tracks research publications, such as articles, datasets, book chapters, reports, etc. This form of societal impact of research, or public engagement, is captured by the number of mentions in the news outlets, policy documents, patents and blogs, but also on social media. These alternative measures are in indicator of public engagement. Altmetric data are significantly faster available than bibliometric data, such as citation counts, because it can be commented on as soon as the research is (openly) published.
The Explorer has a user-friendly dashboard which enables users to: