From bibliometrics to altmetrics

AltmetricsDanielle Padula, Community Development Coordinator at Scholastica, and Catherine Williams, Head of Marketing at Altmetric, introduce the changing landscape of research referencing in an article published on LSE blog: Enter Alternative Metrics: Indicators that capture the value of research and richness of scholarly discourse

Altmetrics are an alternative to bibliometrics as they are gathered from mentions of research in nontraditional online outlets. These mentions can be number of views, of downloads, network shares… on databases, social media, news media, post-publication peer review forums, blogs, Wikipedia, and more. Thus, altmetrics can be applied to nontraditional research and scholarly outputs and they often challenge the Impact Factor (IF) because it can take months to years to generate article citations, especially for research in the humanities and social sciences. The authors explain that “Alternative metrics make it possible for authors of newer works to show that their research is being read and used long before it is formally cited, and often almost immediately following publication.”

Also note that altmetrics are more meant to show that “research is being discussed but leaving it to the reader to determine whether that buzz is warranted, or indeed occurring for positive or negative reasons. The cause of altmetrics impact can vary, much like high counts of bibliometric article citations can be linked to article endorsements or references to previous articles’ errors.”

Read more here


Do you know Google Scholar Metrics?

GSGoogle Scholar Metrics provide a way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Scholar Metrics summarize recent citations to many publications.

You can explore publications in research areas of your interest, for example, the top 20 publications in Business, Economics & Management. They are ordered by their five-year h-index and h-median metrics. To see which articles in a publication were cited the most and who cited them, click on their h-index number to view the articles as well as the citations underlying the metrics.

GS Metrics

To explore specific research areas, select one of the broad areas, click on the “Subcategories” link and then select one of the options. For example: Finance or Marketing. Browsing by research area is, as yet, available only for English publications. You can, of course, search for specific publications in all languages by words in their titles, like “Revue Française de Gestion“.

Scholar Metrics currently cover articles published between 2009 and 2013, both inclusive and are currently based on Google Scholar index as it was in June 2014.

The h5-index and h5-median of a publication are, respectively, the h-index and h-median of only those of its articles that were published in the last five complete calendar years.

Also note Google’s explanations on the coverage of publications:

“Since Google Scholar indexes articles from a large number of websites, we can’t always tell in which journal a particular article has been published. To avoid misidentification of publications, we have included only the following items:

  • journal articles from websites that follow our inclusion guidelines;
  • selected conference articles in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering;
  • preprints from arXiv, SSRN, NBER and RePEC – for these sites, we compute metrics for individual collections, e.g., “arXiv Superconductivity (cond-mat.supr-con)” or “CEPR Discussion Papers”. “