Quality and societal relevance of scientific research can be measured in various ways. Which metric-methods are being used – for what purposes? How can metrics be useful to you as a researcher and which tools and services does VU Library offer you?
How can metrics be useful to you?
Metrics can be useful for you:
- To raise your personal research profile or that of your research group or institute.
- To demonstrate your impact in a in a quantifiable way e.g. for SEP-evaluations, grant applications, annual reports and personal (HR) evaluations.
- To identify how your research is being used by scientific and societal partners and policy makers.
- To find new research partners.
What services and tools does VU Library offer?
- Online tools: PURE, Scopus, Web of Science, Essential Science Indicators, and Journal Citation Reports, AltmetricExplorer and SciVal.
- Training and do it yourself guides (in the make) to enable you to make metric analyses using these tools.
- Evaluation reports: As a paid service we can make a bibliometric analysis for you with indicators for research excellence, collaboration and societal attention.
Traditional metrics measure impact by counting citations using databases as Web of Science or Scopus. Methods are: Citation analysis, H-index, Journal Impact Factor, Field Weighted Impact Score, Eigenfactor. VU Library offers various tools and guides for traditional metrics.
> Tools and services for traditional metrics
Alternative (next-generation) metrics for societal impact and relevance
Altmetrics is a new method of measuring impact, which looks beyond journal citations. It also captures mentions in social media, blogs, bookmarks, news media, in policy documents, and the number of downloads. Altmetrics are available faster in comparison to citation counts which take a longer time to accrue. VU Library has a one year licence (for 2018) for AltmetricExplorer.com and will evaluate the use of this tool in 2018.
The EU advisory committee argues that metrics in general, and in particular the alternative metrics, should be: transparent, and reproducible in order to be used in evaluations. A growing number of reports, manifests and standards support this view (e.g. Altmetrics Manifesto, Leiden Manifesto, NISO standard, EU report on Open Science metrics, VU Bruto Academische Waarde, Science in Transition). There are various free and paid services for alt-metrics: Altmetric.com, impactstory.org, depsy.org, plumx.com.
Measuring societal impact and societal relevance of research
VU Library is developing two kinds of services for research groups to demonstrate societal impact and relevance of research in annual reporting and SEP-evaluations.
1. Research in Societal relevant topics.
2. Societal attention on research.
Access to tools and services
Lean Library browser extension: first install this plug-in, then you will always be redirected to the correct address that will allow you to access, through the VU, the services listed below. This will also give you access, off campus.
> Tools and services to measure societal impact and relevance of research
Websites, blogs, articles about measuring impact
- UKB-coördinatiepunt Research Impact
- What is Research impact? - York University
- Pathways to impact - Research Councils UK
- NWO Research impact
- Society or Scholarly Publishing
- Blog LSE Impact of Social Sciences
- Academic Innovation for societal impact
- The Fast Track Impact Podcast
- Open Science Radio (podcasts)
- Rationalizing the extremes: introducing the citation distribution index (blog Bibliometrics)
- Bibliometric fun facts (blog Bibliometrics)