What are Altmetrics?
Alternative Metrics, or altmetrics, are new measures used to track research impact. The traditional impact metric for scholarly articles is citations. While citations are important, they take time to accrue and can only measure the impact of the article within the realm of academia. In contrast Altmetrics track online scholarly impact in real time and include both early indicators of scholarly impact, such as views, downloads and bookmarks, and impact in other realms, such as traditional and social media, public policy, education and more.
The term altmetrics was first introduced in 2010 by Jason Priem: altmetrics: a manifesto. The company Altmetric, one of the major organizations that tracks and reports on altmetrics, was founded in 2011.
How can I find altmetrics for my publications?
Looking to find out the altmetrics for your publications? There are a few different sources you can consult.
- Check out your PlumX profile: The Mount Sinai Health System uses PlumX to track both traditional and alternative metrics for its faculty's research output. Search for your profile on Mount Sinai's PlumX site to find out the impact of your articles. Don't have a PlumX profile? You can register for one here.
- Use the Altmetric Bookmarklet: You can use the free Altmetric bookmarklet to find out altmetrics for any journal article. The bookmarklet works for the Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers. Once you've added the bookmarklet to you browser's bookmarks bar, you can click it any time you are viewing an article to find out the altmetrics score and detail for that article.
- Create an ImpactStory profile: ImpactStory researcher impact profiles highlight altmetrics and track attention articles receive from non-traditional sources such as Twitter, Reddits, blogs, news outlets and more. You can setup a free profile on their website.
Learn more about traditional metrics. Citations are the tradition article-level metrics, but there are metrics at the author- and journal-level as well.