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Research Impact Challenge

Altmetrics Defined:

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.,, PlumX), altmetrics are gathered using unique identifiers. These tend to be DOIs (, but are sometimes ISBNs and URLs (PlumX). 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

image of altmetrics badge in UMaine's Digital Commons repository
DigitalCommons@UMaine Institutional Repository

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 score (for items with DOIs). See more about at the bottom of this page.


image of altmetrics badge in Fogler's OneSearch resultsIEEE Explore
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.

SpringerLink Ebooks
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.

image of altmetrics indicators in SpringerLink Ebooks database


Free tools from that can help you capture and convey your research impact include:

image of's free services for researchers tracks a range of online sources that capture the social life of a researcher's scholarly activity. is a commercial product that offers a free bookmarklet and is embedded in a variety of library databases.

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