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What Are Altmetrics?

"Altmetrics leverage the increasing centrality of the Web in scholarly communication, mining evidence of impact across a range of online tools and environments:"

General UsersScholarly Users
Mainstream media, patient communities Faculty of 1000 review, GitHub stars
Cite or apply Wikipedia citation Scholarly citation
Discuss Twitter, Facebook, blog mentions Scholarly blogs, article comments, tweets from scholars
Save Social bookmarking (Delicious) Scholarly reference managers (Mendeley, CiteULike)
View HTML views PDF downloads, dataset downloads

Konkiel, S., Piwowar, H., & Priem, J. (2014). The Imperative for Open Altmetrics. The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 17(3). doi: 10.3998/3336451.0017.301

Types of Altmetrics

Altmetrics can be used to help you understand the many ways that your work has had an impact with other scholars, the public, policy makers, practitioners, and more. Some example metrics that different research outputs might receive include:


  • Citations: Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed Central, and Google Scholar citations; citations in policy documents
  • Bookmarks: scholarly bookmarks on Mendeley & CiteULike; bookmarks by the public on Delicious & Pinboard; Twitter favorites
  • Discussion: peer reviews on F1000, Publons, and other post-publication peer review websites; Twitter mentions and Facebook wall posts; newspaper articles, videos, and podcasts; mentions on scholarly blog networks like ResearchBlogging
  • Shares: Twitter mentions, Facebook shares
  • Views: Pageview & download statistics from the journal website or repository where you've archived your paper

Books & book chapters

  • Citations: Web of Science and Scopus citations; Google Book citations
  • WorldCat holdings: the number of libraries worldwide that have purchased your book
  • Views: Pageview & download statistics from your publisher's website or the repository where you've archived your book/chapter.
  • Ratings: and Goodreads ratings
  • Discussion: see "Articles" above
  • Bookmarks: see "Articles" above


  • Citations: Data Citation Index and Google Scholar citations
  • Views: views and downloads from Figshare, Zenodo, Dryad, ICPSR, or other subject or institutional repositories
  • Reuse: GitHub forks
  • Discussion: Figshare comments; also see "Articles" above
  • Bookmarks: see "Articles" above


  • Citations: Google Scholar citations
  • Downloads: download statistics from GitHub, Bitbucket, Sourceforge, or other institutional or subject repository
  • Adaptations: GitHub forks, Bitbucket clones
  • Collaborators: GitHub collaborators
  • Discussion: GitHub gists, mentions on Twitter, Figshare comments
  • Bookmarks, Shares: see "Articles" above


  • Views: views and downloads on Figshare, Zenodo, or other institutional or subject repository
  • Discussion: Figshare comments; see also "Articles" above
  • Bookmarks, Shares: see "Articles" above


  • Views: views and downloads on Slideshare, Speakerdeck, and Figshare
  • Discussion: Slideshare and Figshare comments; see also "Articles" above
  • Shares: Slideshare embeds on other websites; mentions on Twitter, Facebook shares, LinkedIn shares
  • Likes: Slideshare and Speakerdeck likes
  • Bookmarks: see "Articles" above


  • Views: Youtube, Vimeo, and Figshare views
  • Likes/Dislikes: Youtube likes and dislikes; Vimeo likes
  • Discussion: Youtube, Vimeo, and Figshare comments; see also "Articles" above
  • Shares, Bookmarks: see "Articles" above


Konkiel, Stacy (2015): The Ultimate Guide to Altmetrics (for librarians). figshare. Retrieved Apr 13, 2015.

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