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What are Altmetrics?
Altmetrics provide an alternative for measuring impact at the article or item level. The Altmetric score, displayed in a colorful donut badge, tracks the sharing and dissemination of scholarship in real time over various channels.
- Number of shares on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+)
- Number of saves on social bookmarking sites and research managers (Mendeley, CiteULike, Slideshare)
- Number of downloads or views
- Number of blogs, news sites, and other commentary
Konkiel, S. (2013). Altmetrics: A 21st-century solution to determining research quality. Online Searcher, 37(4). Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/OnlineSearcher/Articles/Features/Altmetrics-A-stCentury-Solution-to-Determining-Research-Quality-90551.shtml
Pros and Cons of Altmetrics
- Quicker way of providing statistics than traditional bibliometrics
- Includes usage and sharing among the general public as well as scholars
- Demonstrates popularity of research in a particular field
- Tends to favor more recent research
- Open to manipulation and gaming of statistics
- Popularity doesn't necessarily correlate with scholarly quality--for example, a article getting a lot of Tweets and traction on social media may contain inaccurate science
Getting a Complete Picture: Measuring Your Impact
In order to get the most complete picture of your scholarly impact, several forms of metrics--both traditional and alternative--should be considered.
- Take a closer look at your article's Altmetric score.
- Click on the Altmetric badge to get more details on who is Tweeting, blogging about, and sharing your work.
- Who are the individuals? Are they scholars, researchers, organizations, or the general public?
- Put your Altmetric raw score into context by highlighting meaningful figures, rather than a "numbers dump."
- For example: "[Your article title] was tweeted 100 times, shared on 3 blogs, cited 6 times, and saved 22 times to Mendeley and other research managers"
- ImpactStory is a free tool that provides a comprehensive view of a scholar's impact, combining journal article metrics with non-traditional forms of scholarship such as datasets and software. Free to use with an ORCID.
- Differentiates between scholarly impact and public impact
- In addition to tracking Altmetrics, ImpactStory also measures metrics from CrossRef, PLoS, PubMed, Scopus, and Figshare.
- Metrics Toolkit
- This website defines different metrics and has search functionality to help you identify the best metric(s) for your purpose
Getting Started with Altmetric Badges