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Tracking Scholarship in the Arts & Humanities

Explore ways to show the impact of scholarly and creative works in the humanities and arts. Read more about qualitative and quantitative measures of scholarly impact.

Navigating this Guide

How can this guide help me?

This guide has compiled a variety of resources and tools for you to use to help demonstrate the impact of your scholarly and/or creative works. There is no one way to track or demonstrate impact in the arts and humanities, and most often, a combination of methods is ideal to show the bigger picture of why your scholarly and/or creative works make an impact in your field, at the university, in the community, and in the world. Use the different sections of this guide to help where you need it the most.

If you need additional guidance, know about resources that should be included in this guide, or would like to chat with someone about how to make use of the information in this guide, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Christina Miskey - Research Impact Librarian (Schedule a consultation)

Priscilla Finley - Humanities Librarian (Schedule a consultation)

Richard Saladino - Art, Architecture & Design Librarian (Schedule a consultation)

In another discipline? Search for your subject librarian to schedule a consultation

Arts and Humanities Scholarship Looks Different

Traditionally when you hear about "demonstrating impact" in academia, people tend to think of STEM disciplines and more traditional methods for tracking scholarship using metrics, such as the Journal Citation Report (JCR), or tracking citations of journal articles using databases such as Scopus or Web of Science.

Scholarship in the arts and humanities, however, looks different. Some scholars publish in journals, create conference proceedings, give presentations, or share a poster similar to many other disciplines. Authors that publish in these ways can measure the impact of their scholarship using metrics and citations. But many also publish in other ways, such as in magazines, blog posts, and monographs - which often do not have consistent ways of tracking or measuring impact. Creative works, particularly those in the visual and performing arts, are not published in the traditional academic sense but have several other ways of demonstrating the impact of that work.

Why does impact matter?

Research impact matters because it can help you to:Quote from Charlie Rapple: "Impact is important because it helps keep us focused on the overall purpose, rather than the process, of research."

  • Obtain a new position, or earn tenure and promotion
  • Broaden your network and find future collaborators for research
  • Improve your chances for citations
  • Strengthen grant funding applications
  • Create a national and international reputation for your expertise and research

Taking steps to broaden the reach of your research can help to improve your scholarly reputation, raise the profile of your department and college/school, and increase the national reputation of your institution.


Portions of this guide were informed by others who have created guides related to impact in the arts and humanities. Our appreciation and acknowledgment of the works that have influenced the content of this guide, are listed below.

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