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The Graduate Health & Life Sciences Research Library at Georgetown University Medical Center

Research Impact: Promoting and Measuring

With this guide, learn why and how to promote your research and gauge its impact.

Reference Shelf

Common Article Metrics

Citation Count: This is a simple summation of the number of citations for each article. You can find this number within Web of Science, Dimensions, Google Scholar

Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): Used by the National Institutes of Health, the RCR is a field-normalized metric. "The RCR is calculated by dividing the number of citations a paper received by the average number of citations an article usually receives in that field. That number is then benchmarked against the median RCR for all NIH-funded papers."

Other Metrics from Web of Science: Highly Cited Papers OR Hot Papers: Learn more about Hot Papers; Learn more about Highly Cited Papers.


  • Numbers will be inconsistent based on the database/resource you are using to calculate.
  • Depending on the field/discipline, it can take a some for a publication to pick up citations.
  • Citation counts are typically captured from published resources, so gathering citations from white papers, preprints, and other unpublished materials. might be more complicated.

Finding Article Metrics