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Research Process: Improve your impact

This guide gives a full overview of all the aspects of the research process and where to get assistance.

Improve your impact

  Awareness of your impact as a researcher can help you:
•  Build your case when applying for promotion or funding
•  Advance return on research investment for grant renewals and progress reports
•  Strengthen future funding requests by showing the value of your research
•  Understand your audience and learn how to communicate with them
•  Identify who is citing your work and confirm that it is appropriately credited
•  Identify collaborators
•  Manage your reputation as a researcher
When selecting a tool to monitor impact, it could be helpful to consider the following:
  • What sources of information are your chosen tools “pulling from” or indexing? The greater number of sources that the tool can “read,” the more comprehensive your metrics will be.
  • What is the business model of your tool? Is it for-profit and available with premium features for a fee, or is it a free platform available to all?  For instance, Web of Science and Scopus are databases that we subscribe to, where ImpactStory, ORCID, and Google Scholar offer free profile services.
  • Have you made a copy of your scholarly materials available also through your institutional repository?  Many of the profiling tools are not geared toward actually preserving a copy of your work. So, to ensure that a copy of your work remains publicly available, it’s best to make sure you also deposit a copy in your institutional repository (SUNScholar at SU).
Author impact:

H-Index: It is an equation based on the number of publications and the number of citations per publication and is recognized as an industry standard that gives information about the performance of researchers and research areas that is very useful in some situations. A scientist has an h-index of 9 if his top 9 most-cited publications have each received at least 9 citations.  

G-Index: The aim was to rectify the fact that the h-index did not reflect a scientist’s most highly cited papers. It therefore tried to improve on the h-index by giving more weight to highly-cited articles. Given a set of articles ranked in decreasing order of the number of citations that they received, the g-index is the (unique) largest number such that the top g articles received (together) at least g2 citations.

M-Index: In order to compare scientists at different stages of their career, Hirsch presented the “m parameter”, which is the result of dividing h by the scientific age of a scientist (number of years since the author’s first publication). The m-index is defined as h/n, where n is the number of years since the first published paper of the scientist.

POLL: Which index do you generally use to measure your author impact?
H-Index: 4 votes (80%)
G-Index: 1 votes (20%)
M-Index: 0 votes (0%)
Google scholar's i10 Index: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 5
  • Measures a variety of research outputs: datasets, software, posters, slides, videos, websites and news articles
  • Impact is measured by: number of tweets, bookmarks, Likes on Facebook, blog posts, media mentions, etc.
  • Altmetrics tracks how many times the outputs have been viewed, downloaded, cited, reused/adapted, shared, bookmarked, or commented upon
  • Altmetric tools:
    • Altmetric collects and analyses posts about articles and datasets;
    • ImpactStory is an aggregator of impact for articles, datasets, blog posts, software, etc.;
    • Plum analytics is used for altmetrics in certain databases, i.e. ScienceDirect, Ebscohost, etc.

Please refer also to Increase your online research visibility under Share and publish

Enhance your research network through the creation of profiles, sharing of papers and engaging with others in your field

Facilitates interactions with other researchers and promotes sharing your research. Also tracks citations and downloads of your works as well as tweets about your works.
Facilitates interactions with other scholars and promotes sharing your works. Also provides analytics regarding use of your works.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
SSRN is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of research and is composed of a number of specialised research networks.

You can build a list of contacts on Mendeley. You can search for people already on Mendeley by using the search box on Mendeley Web, viewing their Mendeley profile, and then asking if you can add them to your contacts.


Social media is successfully used researchers to communicate their research. It is also used for information dissemination.

If you use social media to promote your work, it is possible to measure your impact with Google Analytics and Altmetrics.

There are other tools available to assist with the dissemination of scholarly output and to increase your impact:

You can also use the following tools to promote your work:






Develop a plan for communicating your research
  • Create and maintain online profiles (e.g. GoogleScholar, ResearchGate)
  • Use persistent identifiers (e.g. ORCIDs, DOIs) to disambiguate yourself as author / link to your work
  • Publish in Open Access journals or choose Open Access options
  • Creative Commons license for your work for re-use
  • Post pre- or post-prints to repositories (SUNScholar)
  • Publish your data to data repositories (SUNScholarData)
  • Make social media engagement about your research a regular habit
  • Engage your audience in meaningful conversations about the topics that you are interested in
  • Connect with other researchers by means of academic network tools
  • Appeal to various audiences via multiple publication types
  • Check back in on your goals often


33 Different ways for increasing citatons

A paper by Nader Ale Ebrahim, reviewing relevant articles, extracted 33 different ways for increasing citation possibilities. Below some of the ways we would like to recommend (excluding the ways already mentioned in the list above):

  • Visibility is the key to higher citations
  • Use a standardised institutional affiliation and address, using no abbreviations
  • Assign keyword terms to the manuscript
  • Publish in journal with high impact factor
  • Team-authored articles get cited more
  • Write review articles
  • Contribute to Wikipedia
  • Create an online CV
  • Make a podcast about your research


Ale Ebrahim, Nader, et al. "Effective strategies for increasing citation frequency." International Education Studies 6.11 (2013): 93-99.