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Metrics & Impact Core

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Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) Information

Category: Article Level

Definition: A metric that represents a citation-based measure that is calculated as the cites/year of each paper, normalized to the citations per year received by NIH-funded papers in the same field and year.

Use Case: The RCR helps to understand the relative scholarly influence that a scientific article has had, as compared to other NIH-funded research.

Location: iCite

Field Normalized?  Yes


  • Benchmarked on NIH funding, therefore likely not useful outside of US.
  • Only available for MEDLINE citations from 1995 on.
  • Not available for papers published in the last fiscal year.

Sample Statement: This 2020 editorial by Dr. Fauci has a relative citation ratio of 20.74, indicating it has been cited 20x more than expected when compared to other NIH funded work (iCite). 

What that means: The actual number of citations that Dr. Fauci’s editorial received is significantly higher than the average expected for a document published by NIH researchers at the same time. 

Additional Information and Resources Regarding Relative Citation Ratio (RCR)