Metrics are meaningless without appropriate context. Your story should always come FIRST; then add data as appropriate to support the narrative.
First write out your story in clear language, as you might tell it to a family member who asks why your work matters. How do you describe your researcher identity? Who is your audience, and what is the significance of your work to that audience? How does your work fit into the culture, values, or goals of your discipline? Your institution?
Then carefully collect appropriate, relevant metrics that provide evidence for the value described in your story. Integrate these metrics into your story, being sure to explain clearly what they are and what they indicate.
As you incorporate metrics (and other information) as evidence or indicators of your impact, you want to select and use them strategically and responsibility to support the story you are telling about that impact.
Adapted from UCSD and Sam Houston State
If you would like help creating metrics reports for a researcher, lab group or unit, have questions about metrics or accessing the tools in this guide, or would like guidance on metrics not discussed in this guide, please contact:
Lena Bohman, Data Services and Research Impact Librarian, firstname.lastname@example.org
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