"Some of the most precious qualities of academic culture resist simple quantification, and individual indicators can struggle to do justice to the richness and plurality of our research" - responsiblemetrics.org/about/
Metrics can be a useful tool to help track the attention received by research outputs. Citations and online attention are relatively easy to record and measure, and provide a reasonably quick and simple way to compare research.
However, Metrics on their own are not sufficient to assess research fairly. Research can impact on the world in any number of ways, many of which are difficult to measure or quantify, and metrics are only part of the picture.
A controversial or fraudulent paper might receive a high amount of negative citations. Albert Einstein's h-index is much lower than many contemporary researchers, but that doesn’t make him a bad scientist. Metrics can also reflect bias within the scholarly community - for example female researchers receive fewer citations on average than men. You should therefore exercise caution when using metrics.
Adapted from Library Connect Quick Reference Cards for Research Impact Metrics
The Metric Tide review, commissioned by HEFCE to examine the role of metrics in research assessment and management, identified five dimensions of responsible metrics. For more information check out the Responsible metric blog & Responsible metrics forum