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Research Impact and Visibility: Altmetrics

Citations are not the only way to represent the impact of your research output. Alternative indicators offer a different view of the influence of that work.

A few alternative indicators have been the subjects of web metrics and bibliometrics research for years, including download counts and mentions in patents. However, as scholarly communication moves increasingly online and use of social media becomes ubiquitous, more indicators have become available: how many times an article has been bookmarked, blogged or tweeted about, cited in Wikipedia, shared in Twitter or on Facebook and so on. These metrics can be considered altmetricsalternativemetrics of impact.

You can compare the scope of traditional and alternative metrics here

  • Heavy emphasis on presentational layer
  • Accurate interpretation (classification/categorisation) of ever changing metrics 
  • Prone to self-citation
  • Altmetrics can be gamed, e.g. likes and mentions can be bought
  • Metrics in themselves do not tell you anything about the quality of the paper

Galligan, F., Dyas-Correia, S., 2013. Altmetrics: Rethinking the Way We Measure. Serials Review 39, 56–61. doi:10.1080/00987913.2013.10765486

Howard, J., 2013. Rise of “Altmetrics” Revives Questions About How to Measure Impact of Research. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Piwowar, H., Priem, J., 2013. The Power of Altmetrics on a CV. ASIS&T Bulletin 39, no. 6, 10-13.

Roemer, R.C., Borchardt, R., 2012. From bibliometrics to altmetrics. A changing scholarly landscape. Coll. res. libr. news 73, 596–600.

What Are Altmetrics? [WWW Document], 2016.




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