Altmetrics refers to ways of measuring the use and impact of scholarship beyond citations. Altmetrics aims to capture a more complete picture of scholarly impact by counting and analyzing usage of scholarly work in mediums like:

  • Views and downloads from online repositories and databases
  • Sharing through social media (for example, Facebook and Twitter)
  • Citations and discussions in blogs and wikis
  • Mentions and comment counts (for example, on Reddit)
  • Holdings in library collections

Additionally, altmetrics can be used to understand the research impact of scholarly works that aren't captured through citation counts, such as

  • Figures and images
  • Reports
  • Data sets
  • Books and book chapters
  • Proceedings
  • Presentations and slides

Because it can take years to accumulate citations in scholarly literature, altmetrics provides more timely usage data for real-time reporting of scholarly impact.

Find out more about the sources for altmetrics from (not to be confused with altmetrics themselves) is a commercial provider of altmetrics data. Known for their "doughnut" with a score, many widgets appear on publisher websites and even in library catalogues. Some data is available for free, like the Altmetric Bookmarklet for Researchers.

The University Library System provides access to the Altmetric Explorer. It is a web-based platform that enables users to search for and report on attention data (mentions, views, Tweets,etc.) of scholarly content.

For more information on altmetrics and, visit our Altmetrics guide.

Contact us for help, feedback, and consultations about altmetrics.