Monday, March 20, 2017

Research Impact

How to assess the impact of one's research? Let me count the ways.  Certainly you can count up productivity metrics such as number of grants, dollar amounts of said grants, number of students supervised, number of journal papers published, and for some fields, number of conference papers published. I have also been looking at collaboration metrics related to social network analysis which is of great concern to me, being here at the Beckman Institute where we care a lot about interdisciplinary collaboration.  The next step is impact metrics which traditionally are author bibliometrics (such as the h-index) or journal bibliometrics that often look at citation-based measures. The Public Library of Science's approach is broader, looking at views, social media impact, and more.  Sometimes honors and awards bestowed upon a person or group explicitly include impact as the rationale; a few such awards I found are even called "Research Impact Awards".  I have been looking at various types of alt-metrics as well.  And finally, we can do what we always do, which is to tell stories to explain impact.