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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 Author Metrics

Citation Count: A simple summation of the number of citations for all articles by an author.

h-index: A metric, developed by J.E. Hirsch, that looks at the author's most cited papers and the number of citations that they have received in other papers. For example, an author's h-index is 8, as long as at least 8 of their articles have been cited at least 8 times.


  • 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counts are typically captured from published resources, so gathering citations from white papers, preprints, and other unpublished materials.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 Author Metrics