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Impact Measurements

Guide to creating profiles and finding metrics for authors, articles, journals, and institutions.

Citation politics

The responsible use of metrics in research assessment and responsible citation practices acknowledge bias, power, and privilege in academic scholarship. In addition, there are huge differences in publication and citation practices between fields, there are issues with author names and disambiguation, there is no way to know why a specific paper has been cited, and metrics can be manipulated or gamed.

Responsible use of metrics in research assessment

Before using metrics to evaluate an individual:

Responsible citation practices

Look critically at bibliographies:


Racial bias

Gendered citation practices

  • Dion, M. L., Sumner, J. L., & Mitchell, S. M. (2018). Gendered Citation Patterns across Political Science and Social Science Methodology Fields. Political Analysis, 26(3), 312-327.
  • Dworkin, J. D., Linn, K. A., Teich, E. G., Zurn, P., Shinohara, R. T., & Bassett, D. S. (2020). The extent and drivers of gender imbalance in neuroscience reference lists. Nature Neuroscience, 23(8), 918-926.
  • Ross, M. B., Glennon, B. M., Murciano-Goroff, R., Berkes, E. G., Weinberg, B. A., & Lane, J. I. (2022). Women are credited less in science than men. Nature, 608(7921), 135-145.
  • Teich, E. G., Kim, J. Z., Lynn, C. W., Simon, S. C., Klishin, A. A., Szymula, K. P., Srivastava, P., Bassett, L. C., Zurn, P., Dworkin, J. D., & Bassett, D. S. (2022). Citation inequity and gendered citation practices in contemporary physics. Nature Physics, 18(10), 1161-1170.

Gender in publication patterns

Gender makeup of editors

  • Liu, F., Holme, P., Chiesa, M., AlShebli, B., & Rahwan, T. (2023). Gender inequality and self-publication are common among academic editors. Nature Human Behaviour, 7(3), 353-364.

Status bias

  • Huber, J., Inoua, S., Kerschbamer, R., König-Kersting, C., Palan, S., & Smith, V. L. (2022). Nobel and novice: Author prominence affects peer review. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(41), e2205779119.
  • Merton, R. K. (1968). The Matthew Effect in Science. Science, 159(3810), 56-63.
  • Teixeira da Silva, J. A. (2021). The Matthew effect impacts science and academic publishing by preferentially amplifying citations, metrics and status. Scientometrics, 126(6), 5373-5377.
  • Tomkins, A., Zhang, M., & Heavlin, W. D. (2017). Reviewer bias in single- versus double-blind peer review. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(48), 12708-12713.

Geographic bias

  • Kahalon, R., Klein, V., Ksenofontov, I., Ullrich, J., & Wright, S. C. (2022). Mentioning the Sample’s Country in the Article’s Title Leads to Bias in Research Evaluation. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 13(2), 352-361.
  • Skopec, M., Issa, H., Reed, J., & Harris, M. (2020). The role of geographic bias in knowledge diffusion: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. Research Integrity and Peer Review, 5(1), 2.
  • Tijssen, R. (2007). Africa’s contribution to the worldwide research literature: New analytical perspectives, trends, and performance indicators. Scientometrics, 71(2), 303-327.


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