Discussions of measuring scholarly work often revolve around the “Impact Factor” for journals, and counting—in various ways—how many times your work has been cited in other scholarly works (see h-index, for example).
If you’ve ever felt that this citation-centric view of the scholarly world does not fully capture the value of your work—trust that feeling! Citation counts may not be a very useful measure if you’re not publishing in fast-moving STEM fields.
If you’ve ever felt that this citation-centric view of the scholarly world does not fully capture the value of your work—trust that feeling!
Citations as the primary assessment measure for scholarship is something of a historical accident — for decades being not the best, but simply the only way to quantitatively measure scholarly impact.
Today there are growing numbers of alternative metrics, or altmetrics, that can be used to both supplement traditional citation metrics, and measure alternative formats (from the peer-reviewed article) such as books and book chapters, videos, blog posts, slide presentations, etc. Examples of altmetrics include number of article downloads or full-text views in databases; books held in library collections; and view counts of videos.
Altmetrics can also include social media metrics such as tweets and Facebook likes which can help measure the attention a piece of research is getting, or indicate how well it is being promoted.
How To Get Altmetrics for Your Work
Gleeson Library subscribes to PlumX, which is a major provider of altmetrics (as well as traditional citation metrics). The best way to get altmetrics for your work is to make sure you are depositing your work in the library’s Scholarship Repository. You’ll see the “Plum Print” on your work’s landing page, and expanding the Plum Print will display all of PlumX’s metrics for your work. You’ll also see Plum Prints showing up for many works in major databases such as Scopus, CINAHL, and Fusion!
Image: Plum Bowl by Alan Levine