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InfoGuides | Pepperdine Libraries

Scholarly Publishing & Metrics Guide: Altmetrics

This guide shares Journal Selection strategies and metric tools the Pepperdine community has access to in order to measure impact. We also explain how to interpret and utilize the aforementioned metrics.  

 

What are altmetrics?

Traditional scholarly metrics were restricted to scholarly citations. Altmetrics expands the measurement of scholarly impact to include additional metrics such as mentions on social media, blogs, Wikipedia entries, news sources, readers in Mendeley (a reference manager) and downloads/views. Academic social networks like ResearchGate or Academia.edu are other examples of altmetrics sources.

Here are some categories of Altmetrics ( created by Snowball Metrics, a partnership between Elsevier and research universities): 

Category Examples
Scholarly Activity Downloads/Views,  Mendeley Readers, Saves to databases like EBSCO, Mentions in course syllabi, library holdings of books, Stars or code forks in GitHub
 
Scholarly Commentary Peer review or recommendations on Publon or F1000, Blog posts, Wikipedia entries, Book reviews from Goodreads or Amazon
Social Activity Mentions or shares on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit
Mass Media Discussion on popular news or magazine websites

What are the advantages of altmetrics?

  • Immediate impact: scholarly citations often take at least two years to accumulate, but mentions on social media or downloads are almost immediate.
  • Evaluate societal impact: sources like social media activity have the potential to measure the impact of scholarly works outside of academia
  • Evaluate a variety of formats: altmetrics can measure scholarly impact from sources like presentations, datasets, software code, etc.

What are some disadvantages of altmetrics:

  • Gaming: it’s easier to manipulate altmetrics sources than traditional metrics derived from scholarly citations. For example, researchers can establish high RG scores on ResearchGate by being active in the Q&A section rather than publishing scholarly works that are highly-cited with a strong readership
  • Altmetrics sources have incomplete coverage: researchers will have to consult multiple sources to obtain the most complete picture of their altmetrics data. For example, neither the PlumX or Altmetrics.com altmetrics aggregators will locate all of the social media mentions to scholarly works and authors should consult both platforms.

While many altmetrics sources are available for free, Pepperdine has some powerful tools that aggregate the metrics to save you time.

Members of Pepperdine University have access to the fallowing  Altmetrics resources

Note: None of the resources are completely comprehensive and you will have to consult multiple databases.

Resource

Description  Additional "How To" Instructions

Journal publisher websites

You can visit websites for journal publishers which sometimes provide altmetrics data like downloads/views.

Institutional Repositories (digital commons)

Digital Commons is Pepperdine’s institutional repository

See PlumX

PlumX

PlumX harvests altmetrics from several sources. It is linked to both the Scopus database and Digital Commons

Altmetric.com (https://www.altmetric.com/products/free-tools/bookmarklet/

You can download a free Altmetric it! Bookmarklet for your browser. You will be able to retrieve altmetrics data for websites that have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

GitHub (https://github.com/

A software repository that provides metrics that measure interest in software programs.

 

Faculty Opinions (F1000) (https://facultyopinions.com/prime/thefaculty 

A resource that provides recommendations of articles in addition to including peer review comments. This is fee-based service and Pepperdine doesn’t currently subscribe to this resource.

 

ResearchGate (https://www.researchgate.net/

ResearchGate is an academic social network that enables faculty to share their scholarly works with other professors. Metrics measuring citations and readership are available. Currently, ResearchGate is better suited for promotion than formal evaluation.

 

Academia.edu (https://www.academia.edu/)   

Despite the .edu appearance,  Academia.edu is a for-profit academic social network. To obtain the types of metrics that are similar  to ResearchGate, a premium, fee-based subscription is required.

 

Open Syllabus Project (https://opensyllabus.org/

You can search Open Syllabus Project database of course syllabus to see how many professors have assigned your scholarly to their students 

 

Mendeley (https://www.mendeley.com/reference-management/reference-manager)  

You can locate metrics on how many users have downloaded citations to your works ino their reference managers. You can obtain metrics either by logging into your own Mendeley account or consulting PlumX.

 

Publons https://publons.com/)

Provide free access to peer reviews of articles. Please note that many journals have policies prohibiting their peer reviews from being published.

 

Cabell's Journalytics 

Cabell’s provides altmetric data at the journal level. Most sources only provide artifact level altmetrics data.

 

SlideShare  (https://www.slideshare.net/)  

SlideShare is a resource for uploading presentations that provides data on how many times your works have been viewed, downloaded, liked or shared)

 

Libcitations (WorldCat holdings)

By searching the Pepperdine library catalog (WorldCat) you can view how many libraries own a copy of your book.


Bellow are screen shots and detailed instructions explaining how to use some of these tools. Resources with additional instructions provide direct links in the above grid . 

 

PlumX

PlumX harvests altmetrics from several sources. It is linked to both the Scopus database and Digital Commons:

If your paper is included in Scopus, after clicking the title, you can select the PlumX link to obtain altmetrics data

PlumX metrics will help you locate the following types of altmetrics:

  • Downloads/Views from EBSCO databases (Pepperdine subscribes to EBSCO databases like Business Source Premier, PsycINFO, etc).
  • Readers in Mendeley
  • Mentions on social media
  • Discussions in Wikipedia, Blog posts
  • Mentions in mass media

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Select one year or three year to view your altmetrics in context compared to other articles.

 

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Journal publisher websites

You can visit websites for journal publishers which sometimes provide altmetrics data like downloads/views.

Altmetrics It!

You can add the Altmetric it! bookmarklet to your browser's toolbar to obtain altmetric data on articles.

  • This resource will only work on pages with a DOI for an article.
  • This resource will *NOT* work within the EBSCO databases, but there is an easy solution to that limitation:
  • Retrieve the article that you located in Google Scholar or the publisher's website.
  • Click the link for Altmetric it! in your browser's toolbar
  • Altmetric It! will provide access to the following types of altmetric data:
    • Social media
    • Wikipedia
    • Blogs
    • Mass Media

Resources for evaluating Books

Here are some examples of metrics for locating information for books:

WorldCat Holdings in Libraries:

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Reviews on Goodreads or Amazon

Open Syllabus Project: You can search over one million syllabi to see if your book is mentioned.