Altmetrics is the use of alternative, or nontraditional, measurements to better understand the extent of a work's scholarly attention. According to altmetrics: a manifesto, "Altmetrics expand our view of what impact looks like, but also of what’s making the impact. This matters because expressions of scholarship are becoming more diverse."
Altmetrics serve as a complement to traditional metrics (e.g., citation counts) by incorporating statistics regarding usage, capture, and mentions of scholarly works in online environments. Altmetrics can reveal references to and engagement with scholarship in the news, in policy documents, in syllabi, on scholarly blogs, and beyond.
BONUS Challenge: Scan through this page and consider how altmetrics might contribute to your impact story when it comes to job applications, grant applications, your curriculum vitae, and/or promotion and tenure. You might even want to install the Altmetrics bookmarklet!
How it works:
Depending on the product (e.g., Altmetric.com, PlumX), altmetrics are gathered using unique identifiers. These tend to be DOIs (Altmetric.com), but are sometimes ISBNs and URLs (PlumX). Altmetric.com provides free tools to researchers with basic capabilities, while costs are associated with enhanced features. PlumX has costs associated with all features.
Altmetrics at UMaine
DigitalCommons@UMaine provides access to the scholarly, educational, and creative works of the University of Maine community. Metrics available in the Digital Commons include download statistics, and an Altmetric.com score (for items with DOIs). See more about Altmetric.com at the bottom of this page.
Click on the article abstract or title, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on "Metrics" to see the Altmetric score on the bottom right of the page, if it's available for that article.
Search for a book and click on the title to view a snapshot of the publisher's Book Metrics. Click on the metrics graphic to get a fuller picture and description of the book's usage and impact. See where the data are harvested.
In your search results, a PlumX icon will appear. When you hover over it, you will see a variety of metrics calculations. Click on "see details" to get additional information.
Free tools from Altmetric.com that can help you capture and convey your research impact include:
Altmetric.com tracks a range of online sources that capture the social life of a researcher's scholarly activity. Altmetric.com is a commercial product that offers a free bookmarklet and is embedded in a variety of library databases.
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