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Measuring Your Research Impact

Learn about citation-based metrics, altmetrics, managing your publications, and more

Citation Counts


iCite is a NIH-developed tool that provides metrics (traditional metrics, as well as metrics and visualizations developed by the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis) about journal articles that are included in PubMed. You can search using author names, MeSH terms, or PubMed IDs -- you can search, using up to 10,000 PubMed IDs, for articles published as early as 1980. You can also upload a spreadsheet of PubMed IDs.

Results can be downloaded as a customized report for further use or visualization. You can use iCite to get a view of how the influence of your publications compares against other articles coming from NIH-funded research, or to demonstrate their actual and potential translation into clinical trials and guidelines.

These metrics include the following:

  • Relative Citation Ratio (RCR): An article-level metric that purports to represent a citation-based measure of scientific influence. It is calculated as the number of citations per year of a paper, normalized (according to field and time) based on the total number of citations received divided by the total number of citations that could be "expected" (which is calculated based on the average number of citations that articles in the "similar" research area have received). A paper with an RCR of 1.0 has received the same number of citations per year as the median NIH-funded paper in the same field, while a paper with an RCR of 2.0 has received twice as many citations per year as the median NIH-funded paper in its field.
  • Weighted RCR: The sum of the RCRs for the articles that were analyzed. A "highly influential" set of articles will have a Weighted RCR that is higher than the total number of publications in the analyzed set.
  • Clinical Citations: The number of publications cited by a clinical document. Click over to the "Translation" tab to see this metric.
  • Approximate Potential to Translate (APT): Machine learning-based estimate of the likelihood that an article will be cited in future clinical trials and clinical guidelines. This metric is also found in the "Translation" tab.
  • Citations: In the "Citations" tab, you will find citation links in the NIH Open Citation Collection. They are currently sourced from CrossRef, MedLine, and PubMed Central.

iCite - results page showing a researcher's RCR

Increasing Your Research's Visibility

Publication in traditional venues are not the only way to share your work. Consider depositing copies of your publications in open access repositories such as DASH, in pre-print servers such as bioRxiv or medRxiv, and/or sharing your data via depositories like Dataverse. This helps your scholarship reach a broader audience, and thus leads to an increase in your research's impact.

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