Library and Learning Services

Research metrics

Research metrics provide a quantitative means of measuring the performance of research, researchers, and research organisations in a variety of different ways, for a variety of different purposes.

Bibliometrics - essentially different ways of counting citations of research outputs in other research outputs - have been used (and misused) for many years to measure the reach of research.

More recently, alternative metrics have been developed and measured, seeking to give a broader picture of the ways in which research is shared, interacted with, and used; with new metrics ranging from social media and mentions; to reference manager downloads to patent and policy citations.

Alongside this, the sector has been grappling with the ethical implications of increasingly available research metrics data and its potential impact on research assessment, resulting in a growing agenda for responsible metrics and responsible research assessment.

We have created a reading list to provide an overview of the key policies, resources and initiatives related to research metrics and responsible metrics.

The Research Services team in Library and Learning Services provide services to enable academic and professional services colleagues to understand, analyse and use research metrics for a variety of purposes, always underpinned by our institutional commitment to responsible research assessment.

Research Metrics Analysis

We offer a bespoke analysis service to help identify and evidence research strengths, develop publishing strategies, and analyse and identify opportunities for collaboration with other researchers, institutions and countries. We use advanced metrics analysis tools to help your planning, or evidence your claims for grant proposals and impact statements. By working with us you will also have access to expert advice on the responsible use of the research metrics provided.

Research Metrics Training

We offer standardised and bespoke training sessions on using a range of tools for identifying and analysing research metrics, including:

  • How to track citations of published outputs in bibliographic databases like Scopus and Web of Science
  • Using SciVal to provide detailed metrics and analysis;
  • Using Altmetric Explorer to track online engagement with published outputs
  • Using Persistent Identifiers like ORCID, DOIs and RORs to improve the accuracy of your research metrics and to connect your online research profiles

To view our generic sessions open to all staff, please see the University’s Events listing [login required].

Responsible Metrics

The University is a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), and takes our commitment to, and implementation of, principles for the responsible use of research metrics seriously.

Our Responsible Metrics Policy (PDF, 152K) is based upon transparency, consistency, accountability and inclusivity, and follows the lead of principles outlined in DORA, The Leiden Manifesto, The Metric Tide Report and the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics.

The University has appointed an Open Scholarship Leadership Group to lead on the development of a culture of open scholarship at Leicester, including implementation of the Responsible Metrics Policy.

Profiles for Promotions

Metrics profiles are now provided to applicants and panels as part of the academic promotions process. This follows a pilot in 2020 and recommendations made by the Responsible Metrics Task and Finish Group in 2021. The Responsible Metrics Task and Finish Group has produced guidance documents [login required] to help applicants and panels understand the metrics they are provided with.

For advice, support and training contact

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