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Article Metrics for Researchers: Introduction to Altmetrics

What is Altmetrics

"Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship." according to  

Altmetrics stands for Alternative Metrics. The term first appeared in a tweet as a hashtag (#altmetrics) in 2010 about article level metrics. Since then many articles have been written about altmetrics and several tools have been developed to track altmetrics.

Why should we care about altmetrics?

Altmetrics are new metrics used to measure the impact of web-native scholarship fast and in various ways. They

  • Serve as alternative to traditional metrics (not replacing traditional metrics but rather complementary) to  measure the scholarly and social impact of research outputs. In this regard, they really should be referred to as Alt-Com-Metrics.
  • Track the immediate impact of publications and other scholarly artifacts.
  • Can be used as early indicators of article impact.
  • Can track how publications perform after publishing
  • Monitor research influence for funding purpose
  • Can be useful for promotion or tenure evaluation (depends on your tenure committee)

Development of Altmetrics

2008 - JMIR publishing views and tweets.

2009 - PLoS ALM Project.

2010 - birth of the term Altmetrics & Altmetrics Manifesto   v.1 (

2011 - Total-Impact project, later relaunched as Impact Story.

2011 - founded

June 201 - Altmetrics11 Workshop (An ACM Web   Science Conference workshop, and it is now annual.)

Late 201 - Plum Analytics founded.

2012 - OASPA Conference (included a session on article metrics with talks by BioMed Central, PLoS, and Plum Analytics)

2012 - ASCB initiated San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) (launched in May 2013.)

In June 2013, NISO awarded a grant for a two-phase initiative on Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) Project .

Jan 2014 - EBSCO acquired Plum Analytics

Sept 12, 2014 - Plum Analytics partners with ORCID

Sept 25-26, 2014 - the1st Altmetrics Conference (London)