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Your Publication Impact and Altmetrics

Altmetrics (or alternative metrics) complement traditional bibliometrics to paint a broader picture of your publication impact.

What is Altmetrics?

Some of your research publications may have their own altmetrics.

For each such research publication, altmetrics measure that publication's publicly-available data:

  • Discussion in online news media, blogs or public policy documents
  • Posts, likes or shares in social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
  • Discussion and activity in scholarly networking sites (e.g. Mendeley)
  • Usage and downloads from article databases or publishers' websites

Advantages of altmetrics:

  • Good for research areas that are not well-covered in Scopus and Web of Science
  • Help to measure the impact of non-traditional types of research outputs
  • Good for measuring publication impact outside of academia
  • Results appear more quickly than traditional citation measures

Altmetrics Indicators

There are several common altmetric indicators.


Altmetric produce a 'donut' indicator. You will see 'donuts' or similar Altmetric indicators increasingly appearing in these Massey University systems:

  • Symplectic
  • Massey Research Online
  • Massey Expertise Database

as well as publishers' websites and other sources. Learn more about indicators

Plum Analytics

Plum Analytics produce the Plum Print indicator. You will see this indicator in Scopus, and CINAHL Complete. Learn more about indicators

How Do I Set Up Altmetrics?

Unlike other metrics tools, you do not have to set up an altmetrics profile or learn how to gather your publication impact data.

Once your research publication gets its first mention in social media or public policy documents (i.e. is referred-to by its citation, DOI or handle), the altmetrics products will begin to gather your altmetrics data, and that data will be integrated into the systems described above.

If you want to increase the chances of gathering altmetrics for a publication, you could consider blogging or tweeting about it using its DOI, handle or citation.