What Are Altmetrics? Are They Important?

By Tracie Frederick, Guest Writer; logos courtesy of Altmetric, Kudos, and Plum Analytics, respectively
Altmetric graphic

Altmetrics, also known as alternative metrics, offer a way to gauge the attention that research output (such as articles, data sets, program code, slide decks, and posters) is generating on social media, reference sharing sites (such as Mendeley), blogs, and other online media.?

The term “altmetrics” was coined on Twitter in 2010 by Jason Priem, then a graduate student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science, and currently a co-founder of ImpactStory, an open-source online service that scientists use to present the impact of their research.

Today, altmetric data is displayed on a variety of websites, especially those of journal publishers, such as Nature Publishing Group, Wiley, and the Public Library of Science. Tools such as Scopus, a database of scientific literature, and other types of resources also include these metrics.Plum graphic

The Scientific Library is currently evaluating two products in order to select one to provide altmetric data for NCI at Frederick publications. To offer more information about these products, two presentations are scheduled.

Altmetric – Monday, Dec. 7, 1–2 p.m., in Building 549 Conference Room A and at the Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF), Room E-1203

Plum Analytics – Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1–2 p.m., in Building 549 Conference Room B and at the ATRF, Room E-1203

Representatives from these two companies will provide demonstrations of their products and explain how these products can provide institutional reports on the online attention received by NCI at Frederick publications. The presentations are open to all employees, and registration is not required.

What Is Kudos?Kudos graphic

Another resource that provides altmetric information is Kudos. This free resource provides researchers with tools for making their published research more visible and accessible to the public. Kudos also enables authors to track the visibility of their publications on various websites against a range of metrics, including full-text downloads, altmetrics, and citations. For more information about Kudos or to register for a free account, visit the Scientific Library’s Kudos page.

Feedback Encouraged

The Scientific Library would like to hear what the NCI at Frederick community thinks about altmetrics. Comments can be shared below this article or sent to the Scientific Library.

Tracie Frederick is the technology informationist in the Scientific Library.

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