Measure Your Research Impact: Altmetrics

Learn how to measure the impact of your research.

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Learn how to get altmetrics

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Health and Natural Sciences Team 2014-15

The Health and Natural Sciences Team is composed of librarians from the Health Sciences and Kenan Science Libraries.

Learn More About Altmetrics

What are Altmetrics?

Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, use the Social Web to generate new measures of scholarly impact.  Examples of altmetrics include the number of:

  • Mentions on Facebook, Twitter or professional networking sites, e.g. ResearchGate
  • Comments in publisher-hosted spaces, e.g. PLOS or blogs
  • Mentions in the mainstream media
  • Social bookmarks on sites such as CiteULike
  • Exports to citation management programs e.g. Mendeley, Zotero

Advantages of altmetrics:

  • Fast: Altmetrics are generated and gathered immediately.  Traditional citations take time to accumulate.
  • Diverse: Altmetrics capture data from a variety of sources, including the scholarly community, the media and the general public.  Traditional impact measures only reflect the impact of a work within the academic setting.  Moreover, some alternative measures looks beyond counts to content.
  • Open: Data is typically gathered from a variety of open source web services, which means that conclusions based on altmetrics can be verified by others.

Altmetrics are a burgeoning area of study and they are not meant to replace traditional measures of impact, but they do provide another way to assess research impact.

Scroll down or click on the links in the box on the left to learn how to get altmetrics.

Altmetric for Scopus

ScopusScopus is a citation database that indexes journals, trade publications and conference proceedings in the health and natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities with citation data available from 1996 to present.

Altmetric for Scopus is a 3rd party web application that runs in the sidebar of article abstract pages in Scopus. 

Altmetric for Scopus provides:

  • Altmetric Score: This number is a measure of the quality and quantity of attention that an article has received.  The colors surrounding the number reflect the mix of sources where the article has been mentioned.
  • Number of mentions on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, etc.) and mainstream media (The New York Times, The Guardian, etc.)
  • Number of users who have included the article citation in their Mendeley or CiteULike libraries

Altmetric for Scopus can be found in the abstract view of an article, below the Related Documents box in the right-hand column.  Altmetric for Scopus will only appear when data is available. 

Click on the see details or open report in new tab links to view:

  • The actual content that mentions the article
  • Demographics: A geographical breakdown of where in the world the mentions are coming from and what type of people (members of the public, scientists, practitioners, science communicators) are tweeting about the article
  • Score in context: Where the article ranks according to attention and other articles of the same age and journal

Altmetric for Scopus

Health and Natural Sciences Team
See Details and Open Report in New Tab Links

Altmetric for Scopus


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Impact StoryImpactstory is a fee-for-service web-based tool developed in part by a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina.  Impactstory provides metrics from a variety of sources and normalizes those metrics based on comparison sets.  Impactstory provides metrics for journal articles, data sets, slides and other research products.

Here are some of the metrics that Impactstory collects:

  • Citations in Scopus
  • PDF downloads, or HTML views, from PLoS
  • Full text views and PDF downloads on PubMed Central
  • Readers who have added an article to their Mendeley library
  • Tweets

Explanation of the badges

You can try a free trial and populate your profile by following these instructions.  Add citations or other products to your profile by:

  • Importing citations and more from GoogleScholar, ORCID, Figshare, GitHub, Slideshare and other sources
  • Entering a PMID, digital object identifier (DOI) or URL


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AltmetricAltmetric offers a free bookmarklet that allows you to view article-level metrics for the articles that you read online. 

To get started, drag and drop the Altmetric bookmarklet to the bookmarks bar in your web browser.  Works for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.  Due to some limitations, the bookmarklet may not work for every article. 

  • Altmetric Data Sources: Four main categories: Policy documents, mainstream media, social media, online reference manager and publisher download counts
  • Altmetric Score: This number is a measure of the quality and quantity of attention that an article has received.  The colors surrounding the number reflect the mix of sources where the article has been mentioned.
  • BETA ORCID Altmetric Score

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