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Citation Research and Impact Metrics

Methods and metrics for evaluating scholarly and research impact.

Introduction to Article Assessment

When Eugene Garfield first proposed what became the Science Citation Index, the purpose was to determine how an article had influenced future research by looking at what recent publications referenced the older article. Counting the number of citations and using that number for assessment, while never the intention, none the less proved too tempting to resist. In recent years, metrics are also reflecting links, downloads, and mentions in non-traditional sources such as social media (view the Alternative Metrics tab for more).

Additionally, metrics have been developed to provide a more accurate comparison by putting a numerical measure into context within a field or journal or some other type of benchmark. Regardless of the metric, each has its weaknesses and needs to be combined with qualitative assessment; an article may be cited, read, or mentioned for negative reasons as well as positive ones. Why it is getting noticed and who is noticing it needs to be considered along with the citation count.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.