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Volume 18, Issue 2 (March 2016) 18, 296–309; DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.171582

Bibliometrics: tracking research impact by selecting the appropriate metrics

Ashok Agarwal, Damayanthi Durairajanayagam, Sindhuja Tatagari, Sandro C Esteves, Avi Harlev, Ralf Henkel, Shubhadeep Roychoudhury, Sheryl Homa, Nicolás Garrido Puchalt, Ranjith Ramasamy, Ahmad Majzoub, Kim Dao Ly, Eva Tvrda, Mourad Assidi, Kavindra Kesari, Reecha Sharma, Saleem Bani Hani, Edmund Ko, Muhammad Abu-Elmagd, Jaime Gosalvez, Asher Bashiri

1American Center for Reproductive Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA; 2Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Malaysia; 3Case Western
Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA; 4Androfert, Andrology and Human Reproduction Clinic, Campinas, Brazil; 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soroka
University Medical Center, Ben‑Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel; 6Department of Medical Bioscience, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South
Africa; 7Department of Life Science and Bioinformatics, Assam University, Silchar, Assam, India; 8Andrology Solutions, London, UK; 9IVF Laboratory Instituto Universitario,
IVI Valencia, Valencia, Spain; 10Department of Urology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA; 11Texas A and M Health Science Center,
College of Medicine, Bryan, Texas, USA; 12Department of Animal Physiology, Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Slovakia; 13Center of Excellence in Genomic Medicine
Research, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA; 14School of Life Sciences, Jaipur National University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India; 15Department of Health Services, Saint
Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 16Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan; 17Department of
Urology, Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, Loma Linda, California, USA; 18Department of Biology, Genetics Unit, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid,
Spain; 19Maternal‑Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound, Soroka University Medical Center, Ben‑Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel.

Correspondence: Prof. A Agarwal (agarwaa@ccf.org)


Traditionally, the success of a researcher is assessed by the number of publications he or she publishes in peer‑reviewed, indexed,
high impact journals. This essential yardstick, often referred to as the impact of a specific researcher, is assessed through the
use of various metrics. While researchers may be acquainted with such matrices, many do not know how to use them to enhance
their careers. In addition to these metrics, a number of other factors should be taken into consideration to objectively evaluate a
scientist’s profile as a researcher and academician. Moreover, each metric has its own limitations that need to be considered when
selecting an appropriate metric for evaluation. This paper provides a broad overview of the wide array of metrics currently in use in
academia and research. Popular metrics are discussed and defined, including traditional metrics and article‑level metrics, some of
which are applied to researchers for a greater understanding of a particular concept, including varicocele that is the thematic area
of this Special Issue of Asian Journal of Andrology. We recommend the combined use of quantitative and qualitative evaluation
using judiciously selected metrics for a more objective assessment of scholarly output and research impact.

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