Research Metrics: Altmetrics


A definition

Altmetrics are data that can explain both the volume and nature of attention that research receives online. Certain kinds of altmetrics are also indicators for potential downstream impact.

Altmetrics are complementary to citation-based metrics (citation counts, Journal Impact Factor, and so on), and distinct from social media metrics (which don’t measure the attention paid specifically to research online; instead they measure the overall reach of and engagement with social media accounts) and usage statistics (which showcase only the volume of attention research has received). High-quality altmetrics make the underlying source data available (i.e. who is saying what about research) as a measure to ensure against gaming and provide context for the numbers using disciplinary and time-based percentiles.

Credit: Stacy Konkiel

Check out her excellent guide for more explanation, examples, and resources: What Are Altmetrics?

Impact Story

ImpactStory is a free Web-based application that makes it easy to track the impact of a wide range of research artifacts (such as papers, datasets, slides, research code). The system aggregates impact data from many sources, from Mendeley to GitHub to Twitter and more, and displays it in a single, permalinked report.

Fee-based Options for Tracking your Altmetrics

These companies will track your altmetrics for a fee.

Or see these other free altmetrics tools HERE.

Key Papers

J. Priem, H. Piwowar, B. Hemminger (2012). Altmetrics in the wild: Using social media to explore scholarly impact.

J. Priem, D. Taraborelli, P. Groth, C. Neylon (2010). Altmetrics: A manifesto