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Journal Evaluation & Measuring Author Impact


In 2010 the publication of the Altmetrics Manifesto called attention to a new source of data that could be used to measure the impact of research. These author and article-level metrics use evidence from a researcher's digital footprint to assess the impact and influence of that researcher in ways that are different, but complementary to, citation-based indicators that measure the influence of only peer-reviewed journal articles. 

Altmetrics uses real-time and openly accessible data from social media and other online tools to allow researchers to quickly measure public engagement with a researcher's scholarly work. Examples include: social media mentions, downloads, shares, ratings, comments, captures & exports, to name a few.‚Äč Traditional citation-based metrics can take a while to produce usable data in comparison.

Altmetrics Toolkit: Provides a glossary of different type of altmetrics, and gives advice about the appropriate use of each metric, and how to choosw metrics based on the impact that one is measuring.

Altmetric Aggregators: tools that aggregate altmetric data to make keeping track of them easy for researchers.

    • Download a tool that will provide altmetric data for any article with a DOI. Badges that can be embedded on a researcher's profile page to showcase their altmetric scores are also available, as is a proprietary atlmetric "score."
  • Impactstory
    • Impactstory is an online tool that helps researchers show the value of their work by contextualizing numerical metrics, so it is easier to understand what the raw numbers mean. Researchers can also share their impact using achievement badges. You can sign into this tool using a twitter log-in and create a free profile.
  • PlumAnalytics
    • Creator of the PlumX Widget. This tool, which provides altimetric measurements for articles, has been integrated into many existing databases and online journals. Look for this tool in Scopus, and the digital commons platform which hosts the Jefferson Digital Repository.
  • PLOS Article Level Metrics
    • Reporting tool that allows authors to look up altmetrics for an article that has been published in a Public Library of Sciences (PLoS) journal.

Altmetric Models: documents from organizations that have created guides to help standardize the presentation of a wide variety of altmetrics.

  • Becker Model: This model is intended to be used as a supplement to traditional publication analysis. It presents a "framework for tracking the diffusion of research outputs and activities...that demonstrate evidence of biomedical research impact," such as an author's impact on public policy, social problems, industrial innovation, and more. 
  • Snowball Metrics: "The aim of snowball metrics is to become the international standard that enables research-intensive universities to understand their strengths and weaknesses...Snowball Metrics do not depend on a particular data source or supplier...the output of Snowball Metrics is a set of mutually agreed and tested methodologies: 'recipes'. These recipes are available free-of-charge and can be used by anyone for their own purposes." 
  • 100 Metrics to Assess & Communicate the Value of Biomedical Research: The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), in collaboration with RAND Europe, developed this list of metrics "to stimulate and broaden thinking about how academic medical centers can communicate the value of their research to a broad range of stakeholders."

Increasing Your Altmetric Impact

  • Using the same format for your name each time that you publish helps to ensure that all of your academic work is credited to you. Visit the Securing Your Scholarly Identity page to learn about creating author profiles and universal author identification numbers.
  • Submit your work to Open Access journals and Open Access Repositories (such as the Jefferson Digital Repository) to increase impact.
  • Learn more about Open Access and how you can do more to retain the right to make your work accessible on multiple platforms by negotiating copyright with the journals in which you publish.
  • Consider publishing your article on a pre-print server, such as medRxivbioRxiv, or SSRN before submitting it to a scholarly journal. Early studies show that pre-print publications can increase an article's altmetric scores. Some journals will even facilitate the process of submitting articles to pre-print servers for authors.
  • Establish a presence on various academic, professional networking, and social media sites, such as, and Mendeley.
  • Post or post about your research. Use social media tools, such as Twitter, to publicize your work as you connect with others in your field.