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Research Impact Measurement: Altmetrics

Altmetrics (Alternative Metrics)

Altmetrics has been defined as "the study and use of scholarly impact measures based on activity in online tools and environments" (Priem,  2012)  The term is often used to describe any alternative, non-citation based measure of research impact, such as:

  • Number of times an article has been viewed or downloaded from a journal website, or database
  • Number of times an article has been exported to a citation manager
  • Number of times an article has been emailed or shared on Facebook, Twitter or another social media site
  • Mentions in the mainstream media

Altmetrics is a developing area of study, and are meant to complement, not replace, traditional measures of impact.

This page will highlight to you some sources of altmetrics that might be relevant to you.

Sources of Altmetrics

Altmetric.com is a provider and aggregator of altmetrics information. They provide a free tool that allows you to quickly find out the altmetrics details of a paper or research output - the only requirement is that the bookmarklet can only work on research outputs that have a valid Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

You can learn more about the bookmarklet here - https://www.altmetric.com/products/free-tools/bookmarklet/

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Due to the poor coverage of published books and book chapters available in databases, it can be difficult for researchers to find citation information related to their books. However, researchers can turn to other databases or even public book review platforms to identify how others have reviewed their books. Platforms such as Book Review Digest Plus by EBSCO allows researchers to look for academic book reviews written by other academic researchers on their books. Other online platforms such as Amazon Books or GoodReads provides researchers with book reviews and ratings from the general public and allows an author to derive insights as to how their books are impacting readers and their everyday life beyond academia.

Book Review Digest Plus

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Example of GoodReads reviews

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Data repositories or institutional repositories can also be a source of altmetrics. For example, ScholarBank@NUS, our university's institutional repository collects, preserves and showcases the research output of NUS researchers and to increase the research visibility of our reseasrchers' works. Publications deposited in ScholarBank@NUS allows researchers to get altmetric information from Altmetric.com, page views, or number of downloads.

Visit ScholarBank@NUS to learn more.

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Sometimes, researchers might be mentioned in newspapers, mass media, news or online websites for the great work that they have done. These news mentions could be about an interview, an award that they have received, or even news about an exhibition they have curated. Our library subscribed databases such as Nexis Uni or Factiva provides you with access to these news mentions as as form of alternative metrics.

Example of Nexis Uni

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Altmetrics are also available at each Scopus document detail page through PlumX. PlumX gathers the impact footprint of research outputs indexed by Scopus and categorizes them into Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media and Citations.

Search for any documents on Scopus and click on the View all Metrics link on the right side of the page.

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Other than the citation counts and field weighted citation impact, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find more altmetric information about the document.

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Click on 'see details' to find out further information about the altmetrics provided by PlumX.

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