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Research Dissemination (School of Law)

Measuring Impact

Quantitative measures of research impact are controversial. Impact is more than a measure of views, downloads, and citations. Nonetheless researchers need to be aware of these measures, what they offer, and their limitations. There are tools that enable you to measure your own research statistics.

First Steps

SSRN Metrics

SSRN is an online subscription service that includes free and paid collections. It provides basic article and collection level statistics including views, downloads, and citations. SSRN also ranks papers based on these metrics among there disciplinary collections. Because the Law School supports faculty in depositing their materials in SSRN this is a good place to start following you metrics. Individual Subscription.

SSRN Rankings Explained
SSRN Top Law Authors List




Scopus (Elsevier - LexisNexis) is one of the largest abstract and citation databases of peer reviewed literature: scientific journals, books, and conference proceedings. Deliuvering a comprehensive overview of the world's research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Scopus features smart tools to track, amnalyze, and visualize research. Canadian law context remains very limited.

Web of Science (Thomson Reuters - West)

Science Citation Index: Expanded covering over 5,600 journals, the Social Sciences Citation Index covering 1,700 journals and selectively covering items from over 5,600 leading science and social science journals. Arts and Humanities Citation Index covering over 1,1140 journals and selectively covering relevant items from over 7,000 leading science and social sciences databases.


HeinOnline ScholarCheck

Hein is a Dalhousie subscription law database. It's ScholarCheck service is a series of tools and features integrated throughout various HeinOnline libraries that allow you to view journal articles and cases that have a heavy influence on the subject you are researching. Hein tracks citations of articles in Hein's collection by other articles in Hein's collection. Dalhousie Subscription.

HeinOnline Scholarcheck Brochure (PDF)

Google Scholar Metrics

Google Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications, to help authors as they consider where to publish their new research. Individual Subscription.

Google Scholar Metrics Guide


Altmetric is a system that tracks the attention that scholarly articles and datasets receive online. It does this by pulling in data from three main sources:

  • Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and blogs
  • Traditional media - both mainstream (The Guardian, New York Times) and science specific (New Scientist, Scientific American). Many non-english language titles are covered. 
  • Online reference managers like Mendeley and CiteULike

At present Altmetric focuses largely on STEM disciplines. Individual Subscription.

Getting Started Guide


ImpactStory is a web-based tool that provides altmetrics to help researchers measure and share the impacts of all their research outputs—from traditional ones such as journal articles, to alternative research outputs such as blog posts, datasets, and software. Individual subscription.


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