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. 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 [2]. 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.

Further Resources

Chamberlain S. (2013). Consuming Article-Level Metrics (link is external). Information Standards Quarterly, 25(2):5-13.

Haustein S. (2016). Grand challenges in altmetrics: heterogeneity, data quality and dependencies (link is external). Scientometrics, 108(1):413-423. 
Konkiel S, Scherer D. (2013). New Opportunities for Repositories in the Age of Altmetrics (link is external). Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, April/May.

Lapinski S, Piowowar H, Priem J. (2013). Riding the crest of the altmetrics wave: How librarians can help prepare faculty for the next generation of research impact metrics (link is external). College and Research Libraries News, 74(6):292-300.

Liu J, Adie E. (2014). Realising the potential of altmetrics within institutions (link is external). Ariadne, 72.

Piwowar H. (2013). Altmetrics: Value all research products. Nature, 493(159).

Priem J. (2013). Scholarship: Beyond the paper. Nature, 495(7442):437-440. doi:10.1038/495437a

Priem J, Parra C, Piwowar H, Groth P, Waagmeester A. (2012). Uncovering impacts: a case study in using altmetrics tools (link is external). Proceedings of the Workshop on Semantic Publishing (SePublica 2012) 9th Extended Semantic Web Conference. Crete, Greece. p. 42–4.

Priem J, Piwowar HA, Hemminger B. (2012). Altmetrics in the wild: Using social media to explore scholarly impact (link is external). arXiv.

Priem J, Taraborelli D, Groth P, Neylon C. (2010). Altmetrics: a manifesto (link is external).

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