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Research Impact: Impact Metrics

Author & Article Impact Metrics

The h-index

Also known as Hirsch's h-index, the h-index measures both quantity and impact of an individual's scientific research output.The h-index is defined by how many (h) of a researcher’s publications have at least (h) citations each. In other words, an author with an h-index of 10 has at least 10 publications with 10 citations each. It can be calculated in Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar and other online services.

The Relative Citation Ratio (RCR)  (New from NIH)
Hutchins BI,Yuan X, Anderson JM, Santangelo, GM .Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): A new metric that uses citation rates to measure influence at the article level.
This new metric from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) can only be used with citations that have a PubMed PMID. The RCR is "calculated as the cites per year of each paper, normalized to the citations per year received by papers in the same field and year. A paper with an RCR of 1.0 has received the same number of cites/year as the median NIH-funded paper in its field, while a paper with an RCR of 2.0 has received twice as many cites/year as the median NIH-funded paper in its field." It can be calculated using the NIH tool iCite for single citation or sets of citations.

Recommended Background and Resources


Stephen Gabrielson, MSLIS
Health Sciences Library System
University of Pittsburgh

Citation Reports and Calculating Your h-Index

Following the short video above, use the Web of Science to create a personal Citation Report and h-index. For more information regarding annual Faculty Performance Evaluations, contact Sandy Honick at the School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs via email or at 412-648-9060.

Calculate the Relative Citation Ratio (RCR)

iCITE - from the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis

  • Enter a single PMID or a set of PMIDs for analysis into this tool.
  • Search by author name, title, MeSH keyword, etc
  • Input a maximum of 1,000 PMIDs

Coverage: The iCite database currently covers the years between 1995 and 2017.
See the extensive Help page for more details and examples.

HSLS Class: Research Metrics and Publications Reports

Learn about Pitt's toolbox for presenting quantitative research impact reports in support of grant applications, appointment and tenure portfolio, and similar reports

Watch for HSLS Class announcements or sign up for alerts.

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