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Research Impact

Authoring a paper, dissertation, journal article, or book? Find out how to measure its impact in the scholarly community.

Altmetrics Overview

What are altmetrics?

Traditional citation metrics only count citations to a given article in other peer-reviewed publications. "Altmetrics" attempt to broaden this picture by including citations, quotations, and mentions in other venues. Some of the places altmetrics seek to measure include:

  • Page views: views or downloads of a paper from a journal website
  • Social media: mentions on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  • Citation managers: uses of a paper in citation managers like Mendeley
  • and more -- altmetrics tools regularly change and refine the spaces they measure

Why include altmetrics?

The authors of "Altmetrics: a manifesto" argue that altmetrics complement traditional citation metrics by providing (1) a broader measure of research impact beyond peer-reviewed publications; (2) quicker and more responsive measurements than traditional citation metrics, which can take months or years to compile; and (3) a richer view of impact by including more context of citations.

Altmetrics do not replace traditional citation metrics, but can provide additional evidence of an article's (or researcher's) impact on the scholarly community.

Does the Library subscribe to a site-wide altmetric tool?

Although the Library does not subscribe to a site-wide altmetric tool like Plum Analytics or, we continue to monitor altmetric tools for their relevance to the GU scholarly community. 


Altmetrics Tools

Altmetrics Tools

Metric example from PLOS One

Altmetric and PLoS Article-Level Metrics for Retention of Memory through Metamorphosis: Can a Moth Remember What It Learned As a Caterpillar?, by Douglas J. Blackiston, Elena Silva Casey, and Martha R. Weiss, all of Georgetown University. Published in PLOS One, March 5, 2008. Measured in July 2015.

PLoS Metrics include: Saves to Mendeley and CiteULike; Citations in CrossRef; Views in PLoS and PubMed Central; and Shares on Facebook and Twitter.

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