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Altmetrics for Researchers

Use the tabs below to learn more about Altmetrics and how to use them to help document the impact of your research

What are Altmetrics?

  • The term altmetrics stands for alternative metrics
  • Altmetrics is a movement to find new ways to look at the use and impact of research in today's online environment
  • It considers how activities like blog posts, tweets, likes, bookmarks, downloads and views may provide important information about the significance of a research article or other research "product"
  • Altmetrics do not replace traditional metrics (e.g., citation counts), but are complementary to them

Altmetrics and Traditional Metrics Work Together

Altmetrics and traditional metrics measure different kinds of activities:

Traditional Metrics
We are all familiar with the current practice of determining the value of a research article by looking at the number of times it has been cited by others, and at the impact factor of the journal in which it was published. The journal impact factor measures the reputation and value of a journal as a whole rather than the merit of the individual articles within the journal.

Atlmetrics
Increasing attention is being paid to the social or public impact of research in addition to the scholarly impact. Altmetrics help in this endeavor by looking at the number of times an individual article or other research object (such as data files or computer code) has been vieweddownloadedshared, bookmarked, mentioned in a blogreused, and more.

Article level metrics (ALMs)
"The dissemination of research is more immediate and occurs across more channels than ever before. Article-Level Metrics are an attempt to better reflect an article's impact under these new circumstances. ALMs can incorporate shorter-term data points such as news coverage, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook likes...They can also incorporate longer-term markers such as download statistics and article comments" (Article-Level Metrics: A SPARC Primer). Article level metrics incorporate both traditional metrics and altmetrics by considering the number of citations along with numerous altmetric indicators.

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