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Research & Publication Support: Journal and Author Metrics

Author Profiles

A complete profile online helps paint a picture of your work and increases your visibility as a researcher. Consider establishing a profile using one of the sites below.


Altmetrics are an alternative way of measuring the impact of your research, and rely mainly on social media data to demonstrate reach and influence. They are meant to supplement more traditional metrics such as impact factor and h-index. They provide a more nuanced picture of how research is being shared, read and understood by other scholars and the general public. They can't be used to measure quality, but they can show how much your research is gaining traction online.

See the University of Saskatchewan's excellent Altmetrics guide for more info.

What are Author Metrics?

Author metrics are ratings that track how often an author’s work is cited in other publications, demonstrating the impact and reach of their research. Author metrics can be used to inform grant applications, and for those who work in academic institutions, can influence tenure and promotion. At AHS, author metrics can show how far and wide AHS research is making waves.

Author metrics measure citations of an author’s work to their total publications. To be accurate, they rely on a correct and complete list of an author’s publications. See the sidebar about author profiles for more information.

Types of Author Metrics

The h-index measures impact by comparing number of citations to the full body of their work.

h-index = number of papers (h) with a citation number greater than or equal to h.

E.g. an author has an h-index of 10 if they have published 10 articles (out of the total number of their publications) that have each been cited at least 10 times.

The g-index is more cumulative than the h-index.

"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." (, retrieved July 12, 2021)

E.g. an author has a g-index of 20 if they have published at least 20 articles that, combined, have received at least 400 citations (20x20).

An advantage of the g-index: if an author has some articles that have been highly cited, and others that haven’t been cited as much, they can still achieve a higher g-index score.

The i10-index is used by Google Scholar. It is best for showing productivity of an author, and calculates the number of publications that have been cited at least 10 times each.

i10-index = the number of publications with at least 10 citations.

E.g. an author has an i10-index of 15 if 15 of their publications have been cited at least 10 times.

To use the i10-index, an author must create a Google Scholar profile.

  • Author metrics are only as good as the tools used to create a whole picture of the author’s scholarly output. No single tool is able to cover the scope and breadth of the whole publishing landscape. Issues might include:
    • Format of materials covered (journal articles, conference papers, books, book chapters)
    • Subject breadth (what subjects does the tool cover?)
    • Geographic/language limitations
    • Chronological depth (how far back does the tool index?)
  • All author metrics assume a consistent level of scholarly output. However, an author may only produce a handful of publications, but they may be seminal in their field or have other significant impacts. Citation analysis is only one way to evaluate value to the scientific community.
  • Some research is completed by large research teams, and depending on the nature of the research, can produce dozens of related papers. Sometimes this will skew author metrics as it doesn’t reflect individual contributions or prominence in the field.

What are Journal Metrics?

Journal metrics are intended to show the collective impact a journal has on the scientific community and discourse. Familiar journals like The Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine boast high scores, because they are highly prestigious journals, and publish research which is typically widely cited elsewhere.

A journal’s metrics may be a factor when you're deciding where to publish. Journals with better metrics might mean your research has the potential to reach more readers; however it might also mean the competition for acceptance is stiffer.

Two things of note:

  • Journal metrics can only tell you how often a journal's articles are cited in a given year, in comparison to other journals in a given field. They do not evaluate the quality of articles or scientific importance. So take metrics with a grain of salt.
  • Some metric scores are proprietary to a subscription-based product. The examples below include both subscriber-only metrics and openly accessible metrics. *Tip: try Googling the journal name and metric you're looking for - often you can find a recent score!

Types of Journal Metrics

The Journal Impact Factor (Clarivate InCites) is calculated by dividing citations to recent articles by the number of recent articles, typically calculated over a two-year period.

For instance, to calculate a 2020 impact factor:

A = the number of times articles published in 2018 and 2019 were cited by indexed journals during 2020.
B = the total number of "citable items" published in 2018 and 2019.

A/B = 2020 impact factor 

Scores range from 0 to 10+. In general, a score over 10 would be considered excellent, a score of 3 or higher would be considered good, and the average score is less than 1. However, this rule of thumb depends on the field of study. When in doubt, it is helpful to compare a journal's score to a journal that you know to be high quality, as a barometer.

The 5-year journal impact factor is based on the same calculation as the journal impact factor, except the timeframe is extended to the previous 5 years of citations, rather than the previous 2.

The Eigenfactor Score is calculated via the number of times articles from the journal published in the past five years have been cited in a given year, but it also considers which journals have contributed these citations so that highly cited journals will influence the network more than lesser cited journals.

The Article Influence Score (Clarivate InCites) determines the average influence of a journal's articles over the first five years after publication.  It is calculated  by multiplying the Eigenfactor Score by 0.01 and dividing by the number of articles in the journal, normalized as a fraction of all articles in all publications.

The mean Article Influence Score for each article is 1.00. A score greater than 1.00 indicates that each article in the journal has above-average influence. A score less than 1.00 indicates that each article in the journal has below-average influence.

The Scientific Journal Ranking or SJR, from SCImago, is based on weighted citations in Year X to papers published in the previous 3 years. Citations are weighted by the prestige of the citing journal, so that a citation from a top journal will have more impact than a citation from a low-ranked journal.

*See a tip on finding journals by SJR ranking in the box below!

The Immediacy Index is the average number of times an article is cited in the year it is published. It is calculated by dividing the number of citations to articles published in a given year by the number of articles published in that year.

The H5-index (Google Scholar) is based on articles published in the last 5 complete calendar years. This is similar to the author h-Index (above) but also includes the top cited h articles (h-core) and the median of the citation counts (h-median).

SJR Metrics in Browzine

Here's a tip! For a quick and easy way to see which KRS journals are ranked the highest (using the SJR score), go to Browzine and select a relevant category. In the top right corner of your screen, select "Sort by Journal Rank". The listing will now show in order of highest to lowest ranking, with SJR scores shown on the cover image of the journal.