How Are You Measuring Your Success?

There are lots of ways to measure academic success:

  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Supervision
  • Grants
  • Patents

And those measures also have measures:

  • Publications – Impact factor, h-index, and M value.
  • Presentations – Location, duration, invitations, and peer review.
  • Supervision – Completions, and type.
  • Grants – $ value, peer review, competitive, and industry-led.
  • Patents – Number, length, and licenses.

Impact factor (for journal articles) has been used a lot and continues to be used. I regularly see resumes with lists of publications and the impact factor next to each.

However, more and more there is a shift to measuring researchers using h-index. If you’re not sure what the H-index is, Andre Spicer gives a good explanation on The Conversation.


I have a H-index. According to Google Scholar it is 6. If limited to the past 5 years (i.e., 2016) it is 5.

But, for me, h-index is not overly relevant. Instead, it is better for me to report things like grant success rate (70%). Returning customers (80%). Customer satisfaction (80%).

What about you? What are you measuring? And how are you reporting your success rate? The first step in controlling these measures is to know what they are and how they are calculated. Let me know how you go.

Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He has helped more than 200 PhD students, early career researchers, and established academics build their careers. He has provided strategic advice on partnering with industry, growing a career building new centres and institutes as well as establishing new programs. Richard is driven by the challenge of helping researchers be commercially smart. His clients appreciate his cut-through approach. He knows the sector and how to turn ideas into reality.

To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email ( or subscribe to the newsletter. He’s on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).