Measuring and improving research impact

How to measure, evidence, and improve your research impact and create impactful research processes

Publication details

Harzing, A.W. (2023) Measuring and improving research impact: Crafting your career in academia, Published by Tarma Software Research Ltd, London, United Kingdom.

To be published in May 2023

Book description

Want to progress in academia? I provide you with step-by-step guidance on measuring, evidencing, and improving research impact, leaving you better prepared to climb the academic career ladder. 

You will learn about the multi-faceted nature of impact, how to measure, evidence, and improve it, but also about impactful research processes, with the values of equity, openness, collegiality, soundness, and community. 

Using plenty of examples, this guide will help to demystify the role of research impact in academia and provide you with the tools to be successful in your own efforts to improve your impact.


When starting their career, many academics are mainly interested in getting their work published. However, publishing your work should not be seen as the “end product” of doing research. If research funding can be seen as an “input” measure, publication is a “throughput” measure, with the ultimate purpose being impact. If our published work doesn’t have impact, why publish?

This short book provides you with a lay introduction to measuring and improving research impact. Chapter 1 focuses on the concepts, discussing what research impact is, and how it differs by academic role. We will also delineate it from related concepts such as research quality and research evaluation. Chapter 2 focuses on measuring research impact. It provides you with a crash course, discussing both traditional and new data sources and metrics. It also shows you how to establish your citation record with the free Publish or Perish software.

Subsequently, we move on from measuring impact to presenting and evaluating research impact. Chapter 3 demonstrates how to make your case for research impact, whereas Chapter 4 looks at the role of metrics versus peer review in evaluating research impact. The next two chapters focus on improving your own research impact, discussing the four Cs of getting cited (in an ethical way!) in Chapter 5, and outlining a 7-step process to improve your research impact in Chapter 6.

Chapter 7 concludes this short book by emphasising the importance of impactful research processes that complement impactful research outcomes. It discusses the five key values of the HuMetrics initiative that should underlie an impactful research process: equity, openness, collegiality, soundness, and community.

I hope this short guide will help to demystify the topic of research impact in academia for you, and will provide you with the tools to be successful in creating your own research impact. I would love to hear from you if you feel this book has helped you.

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