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Measuring Your Impact: Altmetrics

Overview of h-index, Eigenfactor, Impact Factor (IF), Journal Citation Reports, Citation Analysis, and other tools.

What is Altmetrics

‚Äč,Altmetrics which stands for "alternative metrics" allows us to measure and monitor the reach and impact of research through online interactions. It is meant to compliment, not replace, traditional metrics. Altmetrics were originally conceived to measure scholarly communication such as blogs, data sets, videos, presentations, etc. that are difficult to measure using traditional metrics. However, it now is used also in journal articles.

Note: Altmetric data is on the scholarly piece not the individual author or the journal. It is not always an indicator of the quality of work but is an indicator of the quantity of attention the work received.

Altmetric Example

Example of altmetrics for article in JAMA. Note: the "Mentioned by" on left hand side where news outlets, blogs, tweets, are displayed.

Click here for the latest almetrics for this article and to click on the tabs next to the Summary tab.

Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents. Kearns CE, Schmidt LA, Glantz SA. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Nov 1; 176(11):1680-1685. (PubMed Citation)

More Information

If you have more questions about metrics and assessment contact:

Charlotte Bhasin or Nick Baltas

If you have questions about databases or where to publish contact:

Michelle Kraft or Matt Weaver

Where To Publish

The library recommends using these aids to determine the best place to publish your research.

Altmetrics Advantages & Disadvantages

Altmetrics are meant to measure online reader behavior such as:

  • Exports to citation management systems like Mendeley, Zotero, CrossRef,
  • Mentions via News Sites, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs
  • Usage such as full text views, abstract views, link-outs, bitly clicks, bookmarks

Advantages of Altmetrics

Disadvantages of Altmetrics

  • Real time picture of people's reading behavior
  • Shows potential impact of research before citation
    metrics can be applied
  • Measures from diverse places online 

  • Lack of consistent adoption across platforms
  • Disagreement on metrics, data sources and
    tools considered important
  • "Likes" and other indicators can be manipulated