Altmetrics: alternative modes for assessing scholarly impact

| June 18, 2013

Citation tools like the Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar all allow scholars and researchers to track the impact of academic articles by tracking the number of times a work has been cited. But in today’s digital media landscape, people tweet about articles, reblog digital content, blog about articles, re-post individual paragraphs or ideas (“nanopublishing”), or even publish original scholarly works online. Scholars yearn for a way to track digital media impact as well as citations published in traditional media outlets. The concept of tracking relevance across alternative publication models is called “Altmetrics.”

How does it work? Altmetrics is still a bit of a hopeful landscape, although there are numerous apps, websites, and tools working to provide this type of data. Altmetrics.org has a manifesto describing the terms of the terrain, but even more helpfully, they provide a tools link collecting an assortment of altmetrics apps you can use for free. PLoS ONE is currently accepting submissions that advance the field of altmetrics. And did you know that Mendeley (an online reference management tool) has an altmetrics group for researchers and writers to post articles and discussions on the topic?

Join the conversation: the twitter hashtag is #altmetrics