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Measuring Your Impact: Journal Rankings, Citation Analysis, and Other Metrics

Tools and methods for measuring the impact of an individual or their scholarshipp

What are altmetrics?

Altmetrics are increasingly being used and discussed as an expansion of the tools available for measuring the scholarly impact of research in the knowledge environment. NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, defines altmetrics as

"The collection of multiple digital indicators related to scholarly work. These indicators are derived from activity and engagement among diverse stakeholders and scholarly outputs in the research ecosystem, including the public sphere. "For stakeholders interested in the broad influence of scholarly outputs, altmetrics may offer insight by calculating an output's reach, social relevance, and attention from a given community, which may include members of the public sphere."

In general, altmetrics are indicators which seek to capture the attention or engagement achieved by a scholar’s work based on social web data such as:

  • tweets, news or media mentions, shares or links
  • downloads, clicks or views
  • saves, bookmarks, favorites, likes or up-votes
  • reviews, comments, ratings, or recommendations
  • adaptations or derivative works
  • readers, subscribers, watchers, or followers


  • Altmetric data captures a range of interactions such as comments, posts, tweets about research activities via the social web and mainstream media, as well as article level metrics very quickly.  In this way you can see at a glance the extent to which your research is being shared and discussed by others.
  • As an indicator of engagement and potential reach of research, altmetric data complements other types of impact data.


  • Since altmetric data is gathered via the social web it can be subject to manipulation by individuals who want to influence the number of times their research content is accessed and used by others.
  • Altmetric data is used inconsistently across academic disciplines.  There is currently a stronger emphasis in the sciences and medicine. Altmetric data should not be compared across disciplines.
  • Research has not yet demonstrated the reliability of altmetrics as a factor in predicting research impact.

How to Find Altmetrics

Scholars have two options for accessing altmetric data about their research.

Via publishers and databases, who work with altmetric aggregators to provide data for scholarly articles. Scholars can check the impact of publications by finding their article in the journal or database and reviewing the aggregated altmetrics. Berry resources with altmetrics are listed below.
Via personal accounts with Altmetric or ImpactStory to view the impact of your collective online-published research.