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Web of Science: Using a Citation Database: Altmetrics

Altmetrics: What and Why

The use of metrics and the choice of which metric to use is a subject of lively controversy in the scholarly community. Increasingly researchers, employers, granting agencies and journal editors are aware of the limitations of traditional bibliometrics (Journal Impact Factor, total publication numbers, citation counts, h-index) alone to measure scholarly productivity and impact.

Altmetrics Wordle Alternative measures ("altmetrics") for research use and impact, such as number of article downloads or reviews in social media forums, are beginning to be standardized—and reported in CVs and to funding agencies. This is an area of innovation: The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has developed a "Personal Impact Factor", modeled after the Journal Impact Factor, for Mount Sinai faculty.

It remains to be seen which altmetrics will become the "gold standards" of the future, and a full review of the altmetrics debates and developments is beyond the scope of this tutorial. We hope, however, that the articles and resources linked here may give you some idea of the richness of the discussion. 

Altmetrics: Selected Resources