Research Metrics

Research Metrics

Research metrics are quantitative indicators used to analyse research performance, in terms of visibility and impact of scholarly outputs.

Research metrics may be used to assess your own work, in recruitments or promotions process, by funding bodies and to assess the research performance at School or Organisation level.

It is widely recognised that metrics have limitations, and they should never be used out of context or as unique measure to evaluate an individual or institution’s performance. Metrics also cannot be used to evaluate the quality of research.

It is paramount that metrics are used responsibly, and follow the key principles indicated in the Leiden Manifesto and the Metric Tide, such as:

  • Robustness – basing metrics on the best possible data in terms of accuracy and scope
  • Humility – recognising that quantitative evaluation should support, but not supplant, qualitative, expert assessment
  • Transparency – that those being evaluated can test and verify the results
  • Diversity – accounting for variation by research field, and using a range of indicators to reflect and support a plurality of research and researcher career paths across the system
  • Reflexivity – recognising and anticipating the systemic and potential effects of indicators and updating them in response.

The University of Aberdeen is a signatory of DORA and pledges to use metric responsibly. Read the University of Aberdeen Responsible Metrics Policy for more information.