Altmetrics (or alternative metrics) provide article-level evidence of the societal impact of research, in terms of its mentions in social media (blogs, Facebook and Twitter), Wikipedia and other quasi-scholarly platforms, news sources and policy documents.
Altmetrics can include:
Best uses: Altmetrics can help researchers understand how their outputs are being shared and discussed via social media and online, and may supplement the information gained from traditional indicators.
Different sources go into altmetric calculations, depending on the provider and the information that they are using. But in general, a high altmetric score indicates that an item has received a lot of attention and it has also received what that provider has decided is "quality" attention (i.e. a news post might be more valuable than a twitter mention).
Remember: Attention doesn't necessarily indicate that the article is important or even of quality.
Many publishers now present altmetric data within their own websites and resources. For example, Altmetric badges (or 'donuts') are now embedded within many sources including our own White Rose Research Online (WRRO) open access repository - this article in WRRO is a good example of these features.
The following includes some notable examples of altmetrics providers and aggregators but it is not an exhaustive list.
"Academics use Academia.edu to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow."
Academia.edu is a platform for sharing research which also includes analytics. Authors who register (free of charge) to create a personal profile and upload their papers gain access to a range of analytic data about who has viewed and downloaded their material.
Consider what information you should disclose: Make sure you only publish information that you are legally allowed to disclose to others. See the How can I share it? website and our Practical guide to copyright for further guidance.
Altmetric.com watches social media sites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+), science blogs, many mainstream media outlets (e.g. The Guardian and non-English language publications like Le Monde), special interest publications (e.g. New Scientist) and reference managers (e.g. Mendeley, CiteULike) for mentions of research outputs.
You can also download the Altmetric bookmarklet for your own use. Install it in your browser to get one-click article level indicators when reading an online journal article.
Altmetric is a commercial provider of altmetrics data. Article-level data is free, but an institutional subscription is necessary to view aggregate scores for an author, institution or journal title.
Watch Altmetric's video below for an introduction to the 'Altmetric Details Page' and how to find attention data for a research output, browse sources and share.
Impactstory is a web-based application that tracks the amount of attention/mentions for a wide range of research outputs, from traditional ones like journal articles, to emerging outputs such as blog posts, datasets and software. It collects and aggregates data from multiple sources to produce a single online profile.
Click on 'See an example profile' on the home page to find out if a profile would work for you.
Impactstory is now free to use but you need to have a Twitter account.
Mendeley is free to join and acts as a reference manager (and sharer) for academics and students.
Open Mendeley (login not required) and click on 'Search', search for an article or subject using the 'Papers' tab. When you click on the article title the Mendeley 'Readers' indicator is shown, i.e. the number of Mendeley users who have added the article to their personal Mendeley library. Also provided are 'Citations' and 'Views' (the number of downloads on ScienceDirect).
Note: Mendeley 'Readers' indicators are incorporated into other resources, e.g. Scopus, often with more granularity.
Consider what information you should disclose: Make sure you only publish information that you are legally allowed to disclose to others. See the How can I share it? website and our Practical guide to copyright for further guidance
PLOS indicates whether each article has any:
Click on the 'Metrics' tab in the article page to see the indicators in more detail. PLOS provides more detail about each of the data sources and the activity measured.
PLOS also provides ALM Reports, a reporting tool that allows you to view article level indicators for any set of PLOS articles. In addition, you can summarise and visualise the data.
"This page mashes up alt-metrics data from Altmetric with articles from the Public Library of Science (PLoS)."
Developed by Altmetric, the 'PLOS Impact Explorer' shows altmetrics for PLOS papers that have recently received coverage. It is not possible to search for specific papers using this tool.
Plum Analytics is a commercial provider of altmetrics, owned by Elsevier.
PlumX collects altmetrics in five categories:
It tracks data for research outputs including journal articles, books, videos, presentations, conference proceedings, datasets, source code, cases and other types of scholarly communication.
PlumX is a subscription-based product.
Note: Elsevier announced (Feb, 2017) that it will incorporate Plum Analytics’ indicators into their research products.(e.g. Mendeley, Scopus, ScienceDirect, SciVal and Pure).