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Altmetrics

Eveything you need to get you started with altmetrics.

Other sources of altmetrics

Websites

If you created a website for your research project you can collect statistics about who is using it. Google Analytics is a free platform that keeps track of this information and provides reports that include information such as which state/country your users are from and which pages/items are being clicked and used.

If you don't want to use Google Analytics there are other programs available. If you are using a service like Word Press they may already collect this information for you.

Social Media & the Social Web

The other place you can gather altmetrics is through online social interactions. Not all platforms are open, but Twitter for example, has an open API which lets other websites connect to it and harvest statistics. Retweets, likes/favorites, and shares are a way to track the interest level of a research project or article. Comments on blogs, reviews, articles, etc. are another place you can look.

Bookmarking and Reference Management Tools

Another source of altmetrics are social bookmarking and reference management tools. There's been some research that shows that the number of times an article is "saved" by users may correlate to later citations. (see Altmetrics in the Wild: Using Social Media to Explore Scholarly Impact for more information).

Who and what have adopted altmetrics

PLOS metrics examplePublishers

Some publishers provide altmetrics on their websites to authors and the public. Many large publishers are now collecting usage data or are partnering with other companies to provide this information to their users. PLOS has been a leader in providing altmetrics to both readers and authors. Each article they publish has a "Metrics" section which provides a wealth of information. Click the image below to see an example.

Repositories

Many digital repositories such as Iowa State's Digital Repository @ Iowa State University (DR@ISU) provide authors with a dashboard (example below) that show statistics about their works in the repository. These statistics are separate from the statistics gathered by publishers* so if you are archiving your work in a digital repository make sure you take these into account! DR@ISU does display the Altmetrics badge for journal articles but it does not include downloads made through the repository.

Click the image above to see an example of an Author Dashboard.

 

Recommended Tools & Services

There are many different ways to share and store your research with the world. Some services are better than others for the purpose of gathering altmetrics. Look for services that use an open APIpartner with a company such as Altmetic, or provide usage statistics. For a comprehensive list of tools that can be used throughout the research process, visit 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication.

Questions or Comments?

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Office of Scholarly Communication
Contact:
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openISU@iastate.edu
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Altmetrics Examples

Publisher examples

This list shares some examples and is by no means exhaustive. Some publishers may provide authors with statistics but do not make them publicly accessible (which is great for authors but doesn't help anyone else).

Repository Examples

DR@ISU provides two different altmetrics

  1. Altmetrics based off of the downloads (available to everyone) and page views (available to authors) of the article in the repository.
  2. A badge that links to the published article's Altmetric score.

Altmetric - the company - provides ISU with free non-commercial use of the badge on DR@ISU.

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