Alternative metrics or ‘altmetrics’ represent new ways to measure engagement with research products. Specific tools have been built to aggregate altmetrics across a wide variety of content. Altmetric.com for example, reveals the impact of anything with a digital object identifier (DOI) or other standard identifier. It can find mentions of a data set in blog posts, tweets and mainstream media. Another example – the non-profit organization ImpactStory – tracks the impact of articles, datasets, software, blog posts, posters and lab websites by monitoring citations, blogs, tweets, download statistics and attributions in research articles, such as mentions within the methods and acknowledgements sections. This new movement encourages researchers to share their data and provides a new way of measuring the impact of research output . Altmetrics can also connect researchers through their interests and area of study; the ability to track these interests provides an opportunity to match up like-minded researchers, or connect scientists to grants they may be interested in applying for. VIVO is one example of this approach, as it builds research profiles and attempts to link institutional researchers with relevant grants, and other scholars working in the same area of study.
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