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Researcher Skills Toolkit

Measuring impact in the arts, humanities and creative industries

Due to their focus on indexing the journal literature, databases such as Scopus and Web of Science are not as appropriate for finding metrics in the humanities and creative industries disciplines and non-traditional research outputs. While their indexing of non-journal literature is increasing, researchers should consider other sources to locate evidence of impact for their research outputs.

The University’s Research Engagement and Impact (EI) Toolkit provides information and resources to support engaged research practice, knowledge translation and research impact.  This toolkit seeks to:

  • build individual and institutional impact literacy
  • guide researchers along the research impact pathway using engaged research principles
  • provide access to best practice resources
  • assist researchers to plan, track, measure and communicate their research impact.
In this video, Dr Erin McCarthy explains how she incorporates research metrics into grant, award and promotion applications.

Evidence of the impact of research

While the primary publication type indexed in citation databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science is the journal article, there is some inclusion of other research outputs, including books, book chapters, conference papers, and reports.

Library holdings

Library holdings will show how widely books are held both within Australia and internationally.

  • TROVE - National Library of Australia service providing access to printed, electronic, pictorial, newspaper, research, map, music, and archival material
  • WorldCat - searches the library catalogues of over 10,000 international libraries
Book reviews 

Book reviews may be included in academic journals or newspapers and can provide evidence of the value of a book to the academic community or broader general public.

Book sales and downloads

Has the book been listed as a bestseller, or been translated or reprinted?

  • Contact publishers for book sales figures.
  • If the book is available online download figures may also be available.
Articles in The Conversation
Recordings on YouTube, Vimeo and other platforms
Creative writing

Includes fiction, poetry, screen scripts, journalism, public speeches etc.

  • Output location – newspapers, magazines, books, blogs, newsletters  
  • Agent process, emails, end product details e.g. TV program, documentary, movie, theatre production, money involved, views, cinema outcomes including reviews, awards/nominations

Exhibitions outcomes, including curation and exhibitions

  • Gallery - prestige and reputation of the gallery, number of visitors, sales of pieces/exhibition catalogues, downloads/page views of website
  • Number of shares and likes on social media
  • Reviews – website and newspapers (local or national depending on gallery location
  • Interviews – radio/TV/newspapers


Includes recordings, video and streaming, concerts, recitals, theatre productions, directing and productions, and musical scores

  • Venue - quality of the venue in terms of reputation
  • Reviews – website and newspapers (local or national depending on venue location
  • Interviews – radio/TV/newspapers
  • Number of shares and likes on social media
  • For commissioned reports - what is the reputation of the commissioning body?
  • Download statistics
  • Media coverage
Software, apps and websites
  • Google Analytics (if setup)
  • Download statistics
  • Sales figures
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