Research Group/Department Impact Measures

A research group or department may wish to gauge the impact of its research or learn how it compares to its peers. Similar to individual impact measures, these numbers can give only a partial story of impact.

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Publication Activity and Citation Count

Simple indicators of activity and impact for a group or department can be discovered by searching all the individuals in the group and combining their names with the OR search operator. These raw counts will vary depending on what the data source includes. Number of articles or citation counts can be found in:

  • Web of Knowledge: A large interdisciplinary citation database that only reports the impact of those items indexed by their database.
  • Google Scholar is not recommended to calculate these impact measures because the search cannot be limited by institution. It is, therefore, likely that the count would include false matches.


Group h-index

This measure aims at productivity as well as impact by counting how many of an author’s papers have been cited many times; to have an h-index of 5, five of a scholar’s publications must have been cited by others at least five times each. While more sophisticated than plain citation counts, the h-index shares the limitations of incomparability across fields and across career stages. The h-index for a group takes all the publications of every member of the group and creates a cumulative score. H-index can be calculated using:

  • Web of Knowledge: Calculates the h-index using only citations indexed in Web of Knowledge. A similar process to calculating an h-index for an individual, but instead of searching just one name, include all the individuals in your group separated by the OR search operator.
  • Google Scholar is not recommended to calculate these impact measures because the search cannot be limited by institution. It is, therefore, likely that the count would include false matches.


US News & World Report Rankings

The US News & World Report Rankings is a well-known ranking of universities by discipline, but actual research measures are not part of their ranking criteria.

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