- Metrics can be added to a CV or used to enhance an online research platform/collaboration site.
- Altmetrics are a useful tool to track the social impact and the uptake of specific articles.
- The geographical breakdown and profession of your readers can show the breadth of uptake beyond a specific field or discipline.
- Social media statistics and bookmarks can show public engagement with research and allow feedback.
- It could identify particular collaborators who are engaging with your research.
- It allows better understanding of the research community and how it communicates. For example, metrics include mentions by F1000 and pick up by academic blogs.
- As well as assessing certain papers or individuals, some sites allow research groups or departments to be evaluated as a whole.
- What it doesn't tell you is just as important as the metrics it does show; gaps should be used to improve future research dissemination strategies and achieve better social impact along with heightened research visibility.
- Altmetrics should be used in parallel with impact factors and citation counts to add a more nuanced, qualitative side to impact.
- Shows evidence of impact more timely, with results in days.
- A window on the impact of web-native scholarly products like datasets, software, blog posts, videos, and more
- Indications of impacts on diverse audiences including scholars but also practitioners, clinicians, educators, and the general public
(Adapted from ffrench-Constant, L. and Piwowar, H.)
Limitations on altmetrics
- Altmetrics providers need to develop a way to differentiate between scholarly and sexy research.
- No standards exist for reporting altmetrics; one imagines that a standard will need to be developed to help quickly determine whether a popular piece of scholarship is also high-quality research.
- Altmetrics is not currently as user-friendly as the journal impact factor.
- The ease with which altmetrics can be tallied is also its biggest weakness, as social media metrics and usage statistics are particularly vulnerable to gaming.
- Finally, altmetrics do not apply as readily to traditional works such as books or art.
(Adapted from Konkiel, S.)