Scholarly Communications

Measure Your Research Impact

Research impact metrics can be used to support applications for tenure or promotion, justify requests for grants and other funding, quantify and determine how research is being used, identify other researchers or institutions that are using research, and identify potential collaborators in the field. Publication metrics are one way to measure the impact of published research. Common publication metrics include citation counts, impact factors, and h-indexes.

To calculate metrics, you need to have clean data. Initiatives such as ORCID, an author identifier, can help identify articles written by an individual. At Duke, Scholars@Duke can be used to maintain publication lists on faculty profile pages.

While metrics are increasingly common, it is important to remember that they only tell part of the story. Publication metrics can be manipulated and used inappropriately.

See the resources and FAQs below or reach out to us for help at

Resources and Guidance


  • How do I find journal impact factors?

    An impact factor is a journal metric that measures the frequency with which the average journal article has been cited in a particular year. Impact factors are only for journals; people and specialties cannot have impact factors.

    While many journal Websites promote their impact factor, it is advisable to consult Journal Citation Reports, which is the original source for all journal impact factors. For help, see the Journal Citation Reports resource page or contact

    For more information on various metrics, please see our Publication Metrics Guide.

  • Why is my h-index different on different sites?

    The h-index is an author level metric that includes both how many papers you have written and how often they have been cited. Your h-index is based on a list of your publications ranked in descending order by the Times Cited count. The value of h is equal to the number of papers (N) in the list that have N or more citations. The calculation can differ by sites because different sites index different journals, meaning some may not have all your papers.

    For more on the h-index, please see our Publication Metrics Guide

  • How do I keep my Scholars@Duke profile up to date?

    Keeping your Scholars@Duke profile up to date is important. It is one of the first things that will come up when people search for your name or your research, and it is also used for university Websites, reporting, and can even be used to update your CV or biosketch. It is easy to do and best if you check your profile and update it regularly.

    For help in keeping your publications current in Scholars@Duke, including adding your ORCID, Scopus author IDs, and checking and optimizing the search settings for your name, please contact

  • What is an ORCID and how do I create one?

    ORCID is an author identifier that can be used to differentiate authors and connect them to their own research. They are not metrics in and of themselves, but they facilitate automated and more accurate metrics by disambiguating authors. Registering for an ORCID takes less than 5 minutes. ORCIDs can then be used in systems such as NCBI and Elements, the publication systems behind Scholars @ Duke, to automate and simplify creating CVs.

  • Where does Duke publish the most?

    There are many ways to analyze Duke publication patterns. We encourage you to partner with us on your Bibliometrics & Research Impact projects.

    If you want a quick overview with several visualizations, take a look at Scopus publications attributed to Duke Health authors, which includes the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, DCRI, and related entities.

    Please Note: You can further refine the search by year, etc.  For all years of the Scopus data, authors published most frequently in the following five journals: Journal of Biological Chemistry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Plos One, American Heart Journal, and Circulation.