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Research Impact

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Measuring Research Impact

Increasingly, researchers and research institutions need to demonstrate the quality and impact of their research.  The Research Impact LibGuide provides an overview on the methods CSIRO uses to measure research impact, as well as providing links to online tools, training, and resources

The Definition of Research Impact 

Research impact is the demonstrable contribution that research makes to the economy, society, culture, national security, public policy or services, health, the environment, or quality of life, beyond contributions to academia.

Impact Measurement Principles

An Australian Government working group developed the following principles to underpin the measurement of research impact.

  • Acknowledge that excellent research underpins impact.
  • Promote understanding through use of common language and terms associated with research impact.
  • Respect the diversity in research disciplines/sectors in demonstrating research impact.
  • Cooperate in developing a set of common, cost effective and efficient parameters for data collection and reporting.
  • Adopt a consultative approach with stakeholders in regards to implementing impact reporting in support of future research investments.
  • Encourage, recognise and reward positive behaviour in planning, monitoring and evaluating research impact.

If you need further information, contact Ask a Librarian for advice on appropriate tools and methods to measure and maximise research impact and quality


ePublish is CSIRO’s publications approval and reporting system.  ePublish supports the CSIRO publications policies and procedures and provides a workflow for the formal review and approval of all CSIRO publications.  CSIRO’s Publication policy outlines staff responsibilities in relation to using ePublish

 ePublish, has two parts: the Approval Module and CSIRO’s Research Publications Repository (RPR).  Together, they simplify the reporting, searching and tracking of CSIRO publications and provide a consistent organisational approach to assure the quality and reputation of our science.  The Research Publications Repository is a simple enterprise tracking system, providing an effective and efficient way to report on the impact of CSIRO publications and feed accurate information into Science Reviews, the Science Investment Process (SIP) and CSIRO’s Appraisal and Investment Committee (CAIC) process

The RPR contains records of more than 80 years of CSIRO research publications, such as journal articles, conference papers, books and reports.  Some recent records may have full-text attachments available where copyright and confidentiality conditions permit.  Through the Research Publication Repository, users can build a bibliography of their work at CSIRO quickly, and search for CSIRO publications

Further Reading


Winker, K. (2017). Eyeballs On Science: Impact Is Not Just Citations, But How Big Is Readership? BioRxiv, 1–5.

Suresh Maximin and Douglas Green (2014) Practice Corner: The Science and Art of Measuring the Impact of an Article 
Radiographics 34(1) 116-118

IEEE (2013) Appropriate Use of Bibliometric Indicators for the Assessment of Journals, Research Proposals, and Individuals
(Adopted by the IEEE Board of Directors 9 September 2013)

Special Issue on Impact. Nature 502 (271): ( )

Alberts, Bruce. (2013) Impact Factor Distortions. Science (New York, N.Y.) 340.6134 : 787. doi:10.1126/science.1240319

Hunt, Glenn E. (2011) Making Sense of Bibliometrics. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 2, 3.2 : 80-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5215.2011.00534.x

Anonymous. (2011) Measuring Impact. Nature materials 10.7 (2011): 477-.


Altmetrics Special Issue

measures article level metrics: number of times viewed, number of times downloaded, but can also include number of times shared via various social media channels, as well as the more traditional citation counts

The April/May 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology has a special section on altmetrics