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Researcher Identity & Impact

This guide is designed to assist you with expanding the impact of your research by developing your researcher profile and explaining how metrics work.

What is Altmetrics?

As a term, altmetrics is formed from the combination of “alternative” and “metrics”. It can be defined as “a set of methods based in the social web used to measure, track, and analyze scholarly output”. Altmetrics have three distinctive characteristics:

  • Connected to the Internet, especially the social media
  • The idea of something “new” – new metrics and new data in the social web
  • Connected to scholarship


  • Use more sources to generate data, including social media
  • Measure the impact more precisely in some subject areas e.g. arts and humanities

Can recognize if a citation is made in a positive or negative context


  • The use of social media might not be relevant to all disciplines
  • Altmetics often are product of commercial companies which raises concerns about bias
  •  Preprints and postprints might be counted in altmetrics which can create discrepancy in data


Similarly, to the traditional bibliometrics, the altmetrics are three types: author-level, article-level, and journal-level.


Article-level altmetrics:

  • Usage metrics: the opinions of users that can be found online about scholarly publications. Consists of clicks & views; downloads; sales/holdings.
  • Capture metrics: “capturing” a publication for future use. Includes bookmarks; forks; favorites; saves/readers;
  • Mentions: discussing a scholarly work in the social networks, such as blog posts; comments; reviews; attributions;
  • Social media: debatable in the field of altmetics; used to promote, discover and discuss scholarly information with the larger public. Includes likes, shares and tweets.
  • Scores and Ranking: specific altmetric tools, such as Altmetric’s Altmetric Score and Impactstory's Altmetrics Percentiles.

Where to find article-level altmetrics?

  • Altmetric Explorer: provides altmetric score for articles/journals.
  • Altmetric Bookmarklet: tool that allows you to check altmetrics of an article.
  • PlumX metrics: provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment.

Author-level altmetrics:

  • Imapctstory Profiles: collection of linked accounts (ORCIS, SlideShare) and user products (DOIs, URLs) that allows users to see their altmetic values.
  • Research Interest Score: a tool provided by ResearchGate that measures the interaction with research on the social networking site.

Journal-level altmetrics: