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Journalism - Maximizing Research Impact & Identity: Alternative Metrics

Tips, techniques & links to help you find answers for your research papers & projects

What are Altmetrics?

Altmetrics are metrics for social media mentions and uses of scholarly output.  This data can be useful for monitoring your personal impact with other scholars, practitioners, policy makers and the public. 

A good overview can be seen in the article by Howard, J. (2013, June 3).  Rise of 'Altmetrics' Revives Questions About How to Measure Impact of Research. Chronicle of Higher Education.  Retrieved from

Librarians' view about the evolution of scholarly metrics can be found in


Having your work formally cited by other researchers is a very slow process. Altmetrics (number of tweets, blog posts, likes, bookmarks, etc. in social media) are faster and wider-ranging measures of how people—both other researchers and the general public—are interested in your work. 

Altmetric data in Dimensions


Altmetrics icon in Dimensions

Other Altmetric Tools

ImpactStory offers a 30-day free trial to a $60/yr subscription tool that brings together a diverse assortment of altmetrics and traditional citation metrics for your research outputs, including both journal articles and datasets. Run a report on a particular journal article or dataset using its DOI, PubMed ID, or import your entire bibliography of articles/datasets using your ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) or a BibTeX file exported from Google Scholar

Other similar altmetrics tools include PlumX

Some pre-print repositories, such as the Social Sciences Research Network, provide number of views and downloads for each document. 

Altmetric Bookmarklet

Altmetric Bookmarklet

Tool for viewing altmetric data from selected publisher websites such as Nature, Springer, Elsevier and Cambridge.

  • Download from
  • Available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • Add bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar.
  • Provides altmetric data for articles with a single click.
  • Bookmarklet only works on PubMed, arXiv or pages containing a DOI including publisher sites like Nature, Springer and selected Elsevier journal titles.

Information provided by Altmetrics bookmarklet