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Impact Factors and Citation Analysis: Altmetrics

Altmetrics

Having your work formally cited by other researchers is a very slow process. Altmetrics are faster and wider-ranging measures of how peopleboth other researchers and the general publicare interested in your work. 

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Altmetrics

 

Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, use the Social Web to generate new measures of scholarly impact.  Examples of altmetrics include the number of:

  • Mentions on Facebook, Twitter or professional networking sites, e.g. ResearchGate
  • Comments in publisher-hosted spaces, e.g. PLOS or blogs
  • Download reports from UR Scholarship Repository
  • Mentions in the mainstream media
  • Social bookmarks on sites such as CiteULike
  • Exports to citation management programs e.g. Mendeley, Zotero

Advantages of altmetrics:

  • Fast: Altmetrics are generated and gathered immediately.  Traditional citations take time to accumulate.
  • Diverse: Altmetrics capture data from a variety of sources, including the scholarly community, the media and the general public.  Traditional impact measures only reflect the impact of a work within the academic setting.  Moreover, some alternative measures looks beyond counts to content.
  • Open: Data is typically gathered from a variety of open source web services, which means that conclusions based on altmetrics can be verified by others.

Altmetrics are a burgeoning area of study and they are not meant to replace traditional measures of impact, but they do provide another way to assess research impact.

Noteworthy altmetrics tools and services: