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Managing your Research profile: Altmetrics

Managing your Research profile

What is Altmetrics

Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship.(

Alternative to traditional bibliometrics such as citation counts and impact factors, altmetrics measures the impact of articles by counting mentions by social media sites and other web sources. It is a comprehensive set of impact indicators that enable numerous ways to assess and navigate research most relevant to the field itself, including:

  • usage
  • citations
  • social bookmarking and dissemination activity
  • media and blog coverage
  • discussion activity and ratings

Altmetrics (alternative metrics), as they have become known, consider a wide range of activity such as Tweets, Facebook mentions, shares on academic networking sites such as Mendeley and CiteULike, and article views and downloads.

Many databases (Scopus), online journals (PLoS,sciecnedirect  etc), open access archives (such as ArXiv) and Institutional Research Repositories now contain this type of article level metrics. An Altmetric Bookmarklet (once installed) is available to capture this data in Google Scholar.

Alternative metrics measure the impact of articles and outside of the means of traditional publishing, including such venues as:

  • number of "talkbacks" or amount of discussion an article has received in blogs and on Twitter
  • mentions on social networking sites such as Facebook and bookmarking sites such as Delicious
  • discussion on scholarly networking sites and repositories such Mendeley and Dryad 

Altmetrics Tools tracks social media sites, newspapers, and magazines. Altmetrics is based on three main factors: the number of individual mentioning a paper, where the mentions occurred (e.g. newspaper, a tweet), and how often the author of each mention talks about scholarly articles. Altmetric has been adopted by Springer, Nature Publishing Group, Scopus, and BioMed Central, among others. Altmetrics offers a free bookmarklet that can be added to the bookmarks toolbar and used to get altmetrics on articles with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) or identifiers in open access databases such as PubMed Central or arXiv. Altmetrics will only work on Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

ImpactStory is an open-source altmetric tool.  ImpactStory (formerly Total Impact) draws from a variety of social and scholarly data sources, including Facebook, Twitter, CiteULike, Delicious, PubMed, Scopus, CrossRef, scienceseeker, Mendeley, Wikipedia, slideshare, Dryad, and figshare. Use Firefox to create your free account. Offers free widget that can be embedded into repositories.

Plum Analytics aims to tract metrics for journal articles, book chapters, datasets, presentations, and source code by collecting impact metrics across usage, captures, mentions, social media and citations (fee service). A trial vesion of Plum analytics runnning in Khalifa University

PLOS ALMs (Article Level Metrics) include:

Mendeley - a social reference manager that tracks readership of scholarly articles posted to the site; manage your research in the cloud and control who you share it with or make it publicly available and citable

Figshare - a cloud-based research data repository that allows researchers and publishers to store and share datasets.

Google Scholar tracks citations of scholarly articles not included in other citation tracking services like Scopus and Web of Science.

Subject Guide

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Rani Anand

Social Media Tools

Tweet about each new publication, website update, conference presentation, or new blog that your project completes.


A citation manager with an academic social network.

A social networking site for professifonals.

Wikispaces is offering free wikis for the higher education sector.