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What are altmetrics?

Altmetrics are a new, alternative way of measuring non-traditional forms of impact, at article level. Almetrics are complementary to traditional citation-based analysis e.g. Journal Impact Factor. The attention received by articles using unique IDs e.g. DOI, PubMed ID, arXiv ID, ORCID is tracked.

The University's Research Information website offers a simple explanation of altmetrics

The ‘Donut’ scores can found on journal websites, researcher websites, and citation databases. The score is derived from an automated algorithm represents a weighted count of the amount of attention that has been tracked and reflects the relative reach of each type of source. For example, news and blogs are scored much higher than tweets, Facebook mentions, and Wikipedia entries.

This article from the Scopus blog on their new Article Metrics module explains where to find altmetric data on Scopus. bookmarklet

Instantly get article level metrics for any recent paper, for free by downloading and installing this bookmarklet on your website so that when you are browsing articles online you can click to see its altmetric score.


Altmetrics for Institutions

View altmetrics data for University of Cambridge publications. Sign up for a free account with your @cam email address. You can search by keyword, filter by author, keyword, journal, DOI, publisher, subject. You can browse by author and department, view Summary Report, set up alerts, export and analyse data.

Altmetrics for Institutions is connected to Symplectic where publication metadata is imported and updated on a weekly basis, so you can see the altmetric data for your publications via your Symplectic account.

YouTube video on Altmetric for Institutions.

YouTube video on Altmetric Explorer for Institutions.

There is also a Research Information Moodle on the University's Research Information website. This is designed to help you to find out how to use the various research information tools provided by the University, such as Altmetrics for Institutions, and how to get the most out of them. Whether you are just getting started, have specific questions, or are ready to analyse the data in more detail, the guides provided on the Research Information Moodle aim to help.


Altmetrics - considerations

  • Tracks attention to your research immediately

  • Uncover (unknown) conversations about your research e.g. may be used in a way you’ve not considered

  • Discover popular new content to read e.g. a Tweet may mention something interesting in relation to your work

  • Use to assess impact of journals you publish in

  • Clinical trials, patents, policy documents etc. also measured by

  • Other data providers are available/used!

  • Can’t tell you anything about quality – could be good, bad, controversial, funny

  • Doesn’t pick up all the sources where paper is mentioned as people don’t always include the DOI

See also J. Priem, D. Taraborelli, P. Groth, C. Neylon (2010), Altmetrics: A manifesto, (v.1.0), 26 October 2010.


Ways of measuring your research impact online

Analytics tools are available to help you monitor and analyse how your online profile is being used.