Skip to Main Content

Library Guide Science: Bibliometrics and impact

Help with searching, finding, and (re)use of appropriate scientific literature for the Faculty of Science students


What is the impact of your research? Not only within your scientific discipline but also on society?
Impact can be expressed in various ways: as an H-index, calculated with traditional bibliometrics, but also as an Altmetrics score, which is social media based.

  Traditional bibliometrics

Impact Factor
The impact factor reflects the yearly average number of citations of recent articles published in a specific journal, and is used as a measure for the scientific impact of a journal.

The impact factor is recalculated every year with data from Web of Science.

An alternative ranking is the SCImago Journal Rank, which is a weighted average calculated with data from the Scopus database. The SCImago Journal Rank takes into account both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance/prestige of the journals where these citations come from.

The H-index measures the impact of a researcher. When the H-index of a researcher is 10, it means that that he has written 10 publications, each of which has been cited ≥10 times, while his other publications each have been cited <10 times.

You can calculate the H-index using the citation scores as determined by Web of Science (see this H-index module) or Google Scholar. For Google Scholar you can use the software programme Publish or Perish.

  Author identifiers and bibliometrics

To distinguish between different authors with the same name, so-called author identifiers have been created. Examples of author identifiers include ResearcherID and ORCID.

A ResearcherID and/or ORCID creates an unambiguous identity and increases the visibility of your publications.

It is also possible to create a profile in Google Scholar Citatons to calculate your H-index and publish your list of publications online.


InCites is a customized, web-based research evaluation tool that can help you develop your research strategy. InCites B&A allows you to analyze institutional productivity, monitor collaboration activity, identify influential researchers, showcase strengths, and discover areas of opportunity. 


Altmetric complements traditional bibliometrics (which is citation based). Altmetrics enables us to measure the broader impact of a scientific publication. Not only is the impact on the scientific community taken into account, but also the impact on society and governance.

Altmetrics can be collected from every online forum where research is discussed, e.g. social media, (scientific) blogs, news releases, public policy documents, reports etc.

An Altmetric score (badge) can be calculated per scientific article: