Alternative metrics measure how many times a research output has been shared, mentioned or downloaded from online sources such as social media sites, blogs, mainstream media and reference managers and the data is accumulated at a faster rate compared to traditional measures.
Alternative metrics compliment traditional impact measurement methods and are a good alternative for disciplines such as Humanities and Social Sciences where traditional metrics are not as useful for measuring impact.
Two popular alternative metrics platforms are PlumX and Altmetric.com .
These platforms differ in the way they source and report metrics.
Altmetric sources data from social media, traditional media and online reference managers to track the level of attention a research output is receiving online. Altmetric disambiguates links to outputs and looks at the quantity and quality of the attention an output is receiving. This information is then displayed visually in the Altmetric circle or donut. The Altmetric.com donut can be seen on the UWA Profiles and Research Repository, many publishers and journal websites plus as a third party application in Scopus.
Altmetric.com offers a free Altmetric it! bookmarklet for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
(Above) Altmetric it! Bookmarklet from https://www.altmetric.com/products/free-tools/bookmarklet/
(Right) Altmetric bookmarklet result for the article: King, T. E., Fortes, G. G., Balaresque, P., Thomas, M. G., Balding, D., Delser, P. M., . . . Schürer, K. (2014). Identification of the remains of King Richard III. Nature Communications, 5. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms6631
PlumX gathers metrics for scholarly research output and categorises these into five separate metric types: Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media, and Citations.
In PlumX, research outputs are called artifacts and PlumX uses a range of identifiers to track the metrics of these artifacts across a wide range of sources.
The PlumX PlumPrint (right) visually represents a publication's available metrics, with each metric type allocated a colour. Further metric details can be viewed by hovering over the PlumPrint or by clicking the see details link. In the UWA Profiles and Research Repository the PlumPrint is embedded at the research output level.
Types of research output tracked
Blogs, Books, Book chapters, Cases, Clinical trials, Conference , Paper, Datasets, Dissertations, Figures, Grants, Interviews, Journal articles, Media, Patents, Posters, Slide Presentations, Software/Sourcecode, Videos, Web Pages
For a comprehensive list of artifacts gathered please consult PlumX's About Artifacts
Altmetric blog provides information of data curation in their post "Not just science articles- tracking other disciplines and other research outputs"
Identifiers used to track research output
|DOI, URL, ISBNs, PubMedID, PebMed Cenral IDs, arXiv IDs, OCLC numbers, RePEc ID, SSRN IDs, Vimeo IDs, GitHub IDS or URLS, SourceForge IDs, US Patent Publication IDs, ClinicalTrials.gov IDs.||
PubMedID, arXiv ID, ADS ID, SSRN ID, RePEC ID, Handle.net identifers, URN, ISNDs, DOIs.
from Altmetric's Tracking and collating attention
|Score calculation||No score allocated||Altmetric score derived from 3 main factors:
|API||Open data API and PlumX embeddable widgets||Free API for non-commercial use and embeddable badges|
|Subscription model||Subscription-based||Subscription-based Altmetric for Institutions.
Free use of Altmetric.com bookmarklet