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Article Metrics

Article Metrics - Overview

Article-level metrics are often referred to as "altmetrics" or "alternative metrics." Altmetrics attempt to fill a gap in traditional metrics by using social media mentions, link backs, blogs, news outlet coverage, and other web metrics to measure the attention given to a particular work. Altmetrics are especially well-suited to datasets and types of scholarly work not covered by traditional metrics. As with other metrics, altmetrics don't necessarily tell you anything about the quality of the individual publication. It's always best to review the publication yourself and investigate mentions as need be.

Where to find Altmetrics

Some article level metrics are incorporated onto individual publisher and journal pages, such as Public Library of Science (PLoS) publications
Another option is to use a tool like Altmetric Bookmarklet in Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Clicking the bookmarklet when looking at an article, will display a colorful wheel containing the Altmetric Attention Score and additional information about where it was mentioned.

  • The bookmarklet only works on pages containing a DOI.
  • It only supports publishers who embed Google Scholar friendly citation metadata on their pages by default.
  • Twitter mentions are only available for articles published since July 2011.

How to Incorporate Altmetrics

Here are some examples of researchers who have used altmetrics for promotion or tenure portfolios. 

  • Steven B. Roberts, Biology, University of Washington (USA)
    Steven included altmetrics both in his Outreach & Engagement section of his dossier (seen in the grid on his lab website) and also within the CV he included in his dossier.
  • Heather Coates, University Library, IUPUI (USA)
    Heather added altmetrics to Section 8 of her tenure dossier in order to demonstrate the influence of her articles and presentations alike–important for a profession where research is often shared in presentations, rather than publications.

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