Use cases

Find out more about the different ways in which metrics can be used, including deciding where to publish, finding collaborators, and benchmarking your research performance.

Research metrics can be used for many different purposes, including enhancing online profiles, deciding where to publish, and identifying potential collaborators. Whatever you use them for, remember to combine them with qualitative assessments, and use more than one indicator at a time to get the clearest picture.

Deciding where to publish

Journal Impact Factor (Web of Science) or CiteScore (Scopus) can be used to compare journals within the same field to help identify where your paper is likely to make the most impact. Document counts can be used to check the numbers of particular article types (e.g. reviews) published by each title. Remember to assess journal quality as well, for example by using the ThinkCheckSubmit checklist.

Line graph comparing Scopus journal CiteScores for 'Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics', 'BMC Ecology', and 'Ecology'

Comparing Journal CiteScores. Source: Scopus

Identifying collaborators

Use SciVal to find out who the key authors are in your field, which institutions publish most on a particular topic, and to explore existing and potential collaboration networks. Some of this information is available in Scopus as well, but you will get richer results in SciVal.

Map showing number of European institutions per country collaborating with the University of Bristol for 2015-18 (SciVal data)

Number of European institutions (per country) collaborating with the University of Bristol, 2015-18. Source: SciVal

Benchmarking research performance

Use the ‘Benchmarking’ module in SciVal to track your/your research group’s performance and benchmark it against comparator individuals or groups.  Make sure that your Scopus author profile is up to date to get accurate results (see Cleaning up your researcher profile for more information).

Line graph comparing number of outputs from each GW4 institution in the top 10 citation percentile, field-weighted (SciVal data)

Comparison of GW4 outputs in top 10 citation percentile, field-weighted. Source: SciVal

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