Altmetrics (or alternative metrics) cover aspects of the impact of a publication such as how many times it is discussed in:
- social media
- news media
- scholarly networking sites.
Altmetrics complement traditional bibliometrics to paint a broader picture of your publication impact.
Some of your research publications may have their own altmetrics that measure the publication’s publicly available data, for example:
- discussion in online news media, blogs or public policy documents
- posts, likes or shares in social media, for example Facebook and Twitter
- discussion and activity in scholarly networking sites, for example Mendeley
- usage and downloads from article databases or publishers’ websites.
Some advantages of altmetrics are:
- they’re good for research areas that are not well-covered in Scopus
- they help measure the impact of non-traditional types of research outputs
- they’re good for measuring publication impact outside of academia
- results appear more quickly than traditional citation measures.
There are several common altmetrics indicators. Altmetrics indicators are a visual representation of your altmetric impact. They represent the volume and type of attention a research publication has received.
Altmetric produce a ‘donut’ indicator. You will see ‘donuts’ or similar Altmetric indicators increasingly appearing in these Massey systems:
- Massey Research Online
- Massey Expertise Database.
You might also see Altmetric indicators on publishers’ websites and other sources.
The Altmetric donut indicator is pictured below.
In the Massey Expertise Database, the donut can also be represented as an "Altmetric" button with a corresponding number.
Plum Analytics produce the Plum Print indicator. You will see this indicator in Scopus, and CINAHL Complete.
Setting 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.
Altmetric products will begin to gather your altmetrics data once your research publication:
- gets its first mention in social media or public policy documents
- is referred to by its citation, DOI or handle.
The data will then be integrated into the systems we have described.
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.
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