Welcome to the Brave New World: Tracking your Altmetrics


A great question came my way last week from a faculty member looking to track the impact of a recently published, award winning article. With all the different ways people discuss and engage with scholarship, its is easy to see why academics would want to know all the ways their work is being engaged with, and not just how many times an article is being cited.

This beyond-traditional means of measurement is called Altmetricsand it acknowledges how scholars have an impact far beyond how many times a given article has appeared in someone else’s References list.  How about how often the article/author has been mentioned on Twitter? Or how many people have saved the article in Zotero, Mendeley, or CiteULike?  What about the number of times your conference slides were viewed on SlideShare?

All of these (and more!) contribute to the impact of your scholarly work- but it may seem daunting to check them all on a regular basis.  Certainly, you can set up alerts and track them individually- but- and I’m sure you know where I’m heading!- why not try an aggregator?

ImpactStory does just that- it aggregates your reach across websites. By bringing together your mentions from a variety of sources, it gives you a more complete picture of how your scholarship is contributing to the conversation in your field.

Come and see me if you’d like to chat more about this- we’re interested in how we can best support Faculty Scholarship at Red Deer College!


3 Responses to “Welcome to the Brave New World: Tracking your Altmetrics”

  1. David Colquhoun Says:

    Altmetrics is not merely trivial nonsense. It’s worse than that: it actually corrupts science. If you ant to know why, try http://www.dcscience.net/?p=6369
    The only people who like it are those who promote it for commercial reasons.

    • Mary Medinsky Says:

      Thanks for your comment, David. We appreciate that Altmetrics are in early days, and perhaps the jury is still out. However, we found that, from what we’re reading, including this great summary from the University of Illinois, this is a topic worthy of investigation.

  2. David Colquhoun Says:

    Well, let’s hope “early days” is all they get!

    The whole metrics business is entirely unnecessary. When you apply for a grant or a job, you are assessed by experts in the field who actually read your papers. That isn’t infallible either of course, but it’s infinitely better than any metric.

    Bibliometrics is a subject invented by people who don’t understand science, so they can be sold to users who don’t understand science. That helps nobody.

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