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Visualising Impact of Research

Scival, Altmetric Explorer and UvA-view

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.

  • Access to Scival
    • SciVal is only accessible within the UvA domain;
    • To log in, use your Elsevier account. If you don't have an Elsevier account yet, you can create this easily via the website of SciVal.
  • Options in SciVal
    • With SciVal it is possible to analyse the research trends of research areas with citation and publication data;
    • You can choose individual researchers or select groups of researchers based on subject or publication set;
    • SciVal runs on a huge computer. This makes it possible to quickly generate and visualize large data sets;
    • The core numbers in SciVal are calculated for the UvA institute in general. It is also possible to import smaller data sets from, for example, PURE, the research registration system of UvA.
  • Scival support
    • The library supports the use of Scival and can help you with running your analyses. For more information and feedback about how to use Scival, you can contact the information specialists of your discipline;
    • See the Scival website for manuals on how to use Scival.

Altmetric Explorer

The Altmetric Explorer from 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.

  • Options with the Altmetric Explorer

    The Explorer has a user-friendly dashboard which enables users to:

    • See where, by whom, when and how often a publication (e.g. article, dataset, chapter of a book, report) is discussed on the web;
    • Discover which policy documents (worldwide) refer to publications;
    • Get a better understanding of the societal involvement of scientific research;
    • Download altmetric data which can be used, for example, in reports needed for a grant application or an evaluation.
  • Important features in the Altmetric Explorer
    • The "edit search" and "quick search" options are very useful;
    • If you have performed a meaningful search, save it using the "save search" button;
    • Receive (daily, weekly, monthly) an update of your saved searches by e-mail, via "saved searches".
    • All features are described in the manual about Altmetric Explorer. Also, many useful tips & tricks are described for different groups of users, such as researchers, communication and policy staff.
  • Altmetric Explorer support
    • Ensure that all your publications are in the PURE CRIS system: This way your dashboard will be up to date;
    • Do you use social media? Always use the DOI for articles or the ISBN for books: This ensures that your research is trackable by the Altmetric Explorer;
    • Open Access publications are also for non-academic readers accessible: This encourages public engagement;
    • itself has a very extensive support page.
    • Do you still need help with the Explorer? Please contact Hanneke van der Veen.
    Ms H.S. (Hanneke) van der Veen MA LLM

    Library of the UvA

    Digitaal Productiecentrum


The aim of UvA view is to show the publication landscape at the University of Amsterdam (at various levels of organisation) and to provide insight into the publication behaviour of individual UvA members of staff. In UvA-view various resources are linked, and then analysed and visualized using state-of-the-art techniques. It concerns such data as those from Metis, the university‚Äôs research information system, Web of Science, Narcis, Google Scholar and the local library catalogue.

UvA-view has an experimental character and outside the UvA domain not all data are being shown.