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Scholarly Communication Services at WSU: Assess Your Scholarly Impact

This guide is designed to increase awareness of significant issues associated with scholarly communication. It also presents resources for WSU researchers who wish to explore alternative avenues for sharing their scholarly work with a global audience.

Assess Your Scholarly Impact: Introduction

This section presents tools and strategies for measuring the impact of your scholarly work. It provides guidance for collecting traditional impact metrics--namely, measurements that take into account the number of citations achieved for scholarly publications. In addition, this guide describes alternative metrics (altmetrics), which gauge your impact by taking into account engagement with your work via social media, bookmarks, shares, and more.

A Problem Statement to Start

This guide will point you to various impact metrics and articles about impact assessment. A number of tools are presented here, in part because impact metrics are notoriously complicated and, in some cases, problematic. For instance:

  • Some disciplines are chronically under-cited. For instance, some estimates suggest that 82% of all humanities research is never cited. Properly gauging impact for these disciplines can be difficult.
  • Some citation analysis tools do not include non-traditional publications (like white papers or even books) in their metrics.
  • Journal impact factors do not accurately reflect the impact of individual articles in the journal; rather, they're skewed by the age of the journal and the popularity of select articles.
  • Citation analysis may not fully capture "impact" as it does not consider the reasons why authors include citations in their work.

Because of these complexities, we encourage you to explore further and select the tools that you feel will most meaningfully describe your efforts in the scholarly community.

Subject Guide

Talea Anderson's picture
Talea Anderson
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation
Washington State University Libraries
WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us