Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
What are altmetrics?
Altmetrics, or “alternative metrics,” are an emerging field for measuring the use and importance of scholarly articles. Altmetrics provide article-level data and are based on new electronic sources of information, such as number of downloads and page views, or the amount of discussion generated in online venues such as Twitter or blogs. Altmetrics is positioned as an alternative to bibliometrics. Almetrics does not have a strict definition and takes into account data from a variety of sources, for a variety of scholarly outputs (papers, presentations, videos, books, code, etc.), from a variety of audiences.
altmetrics: a manifesto
The term almetrics was coined by Jason Priem. This site was created by Priem and colleagues to promote altmetrics.
A guide to understanding impact from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Keeping Up With... Altmetrics
From the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt, Library Technology Reports, July 2015, Vol. 51 Issue 5
Altmetric Harvesting Tools
These tools will gather almetrics from a variety of places and create some kind of score or ranking.
Generate a metric for journal articles. A variety of data are used to create an altmetrics score, including social media, multi-media, mainstream media mentions, blogs, Mendeley and more. Most of the services are not free.
Formerly Total-Impact. Researchers can create a profile, and add their scholarly work. Once work is added to a profile, almetrics such as discussed, saved and viewed are displayed. There is a cost associated with creating an ImpactStory profile.
Includes metrics from Altmetric. When looking at an article, the left-hand bar will have a few metrics, and option to "view more details" to get a full Altmetric report.
Gathers altmetrics from a variety of sources including usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations. Need to create an account.
Academic Tools that Generate Altmetrics
The following are online tools - peer networks - created for an academic audience. Metrics from these tools can tell us about the scholarly impact of work.
Mendeley is a free citation manager and allows users to collect several useful metrics. The number of users who have saved an article to their library is tracked. Another metric is demographic information (such as the field of study) of users who saved the article. Need to create an account.
A peer-network system of academics and researchers. Once you create your profile, you can upload citations and full-text works, and track usage metrics in Academia.edu.
Create an account and upload citations and full-text articles and then get metrics on views, bookmarks, and downloads. Produces an author-level metric called the RG score.
Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
A peer-network where users share pre-publication articles and white papers. After registering, authors can add their own paper and gather metrics on those papers.
Auraria Institutional Repository (AIR)
Usage statistics, including views, visits, and downloads, can be viewed for items.
Nonacademic Tools that Generate Altmetrics
The tools below are not designed specifically for academic use, but can be used to give insight into the impact of scholarship, especially the impact of the work in the public (nonacademic) sphere.
Frequently used by academics, and is becoming an important part of the scholarly discourse. When scholarly work is shared, the number of Tweets and Retweets can be counted.
A Tweet sharing a link to access slides from a conference, showing the number of times it has been retweeted and liked.
If articles, videos, or blogs are shared on Facebook the number of times that content is shared or liked can be counted.
Presentations (videos and slidedecks):
Scholars might add videos of presentations or other content to YouTube. YouTube counts the number of views, the number of favorites, and comments made on the video.
The number of views and likes of a video of a TED Talk presentation:
Upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios. Great for posting after a presentation to make slides available. Content is indexed by search engines.
This site is built for coders to upload, share, and collaborate on code with each other. Metrics tracked by GitHub include watchers, collaborators, and forks (when someone copies code to develop for their own purposes). GitHub is one of the few ways programmers can track the impact of their code.
Amazon provides a Best Sellers Rank, which compares how often a book is purchased compared to other books in the same category. Amazon also allows users to leave ratings and reviews.
Goodreads is a social media site for readers. Metrics that book authors can gather from Goodreads including overall rating and book reviews given by Goodreads users.