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Why consider?

Alternative measures can be used to compensate for some of the limitations of traditional research metrics and to present a more well-rounded picture of research impact. They should be used as a supplement to traditional metrics.

Alternative measures can assist:

  • where citation databases do not provide coverage of a discipline
  • in assessing the impact of research output which does not take the form of journal articles or books
  • where impact in non-scholarly environments is significant
  • in determining how research is being implemented in practice
  • in uncovering the impact of very recently published work

Altmetrics —short for alternative metrics—is a measure of web-based scholarly interaction.  It aims to measure how often research is tweeted, blogged about, downloaded or bookmarked. Its development can be seen as a response to the impact of social networking on the research environment.

See the Altmetrics manifesto, posted on, for further explanation about the development of this approach to measuring scholarly impact.

Sites for Calculating Altmetrics

Impact Story - allows the user to create an online profile that gathers usage data from the many online research-sharing platforms like those mentioned above

Altmetric for Scopus - a free application that runs within the sidebar of Scopus article and abstract pages. More information, and a guide to interpreting the data retrieved by the app, is available from the Altmetric for Scopus help page.

Altmetrics and ORCID - enter in the ORCID of any researcher and retrieve all Altmetric data including a breakdown by mentions.

Find futher tools on the Tools page

Social networking sites can be useful for tracking authors and their research and can function as hubs of online scholarly interaction.

You can:

  • See analytics on your profile and papers
  • Get connected and stay in touch with your scholarly community
  • Follow other people in your field
  • Share your papers
  • Ask for advice
  • Receive alerts about publications, events and/or jobs

Below are some of the most widely used scholarly networking tools: