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Research Impact

Alternative metrics (Altmetrics)

"Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship."

Altmetrics include web citations to digital research documents and usage-based indicators, such as views, downloads, comments, bookmarks, mentioned, and readership, from social media.

Altmetrics are different from traditional bibliometrics. Altmetrics monitor social interaction of research whereas bibliomentrics measure research impact of articles by analysing citations (impact factors, h-index, etc.).

Altmetrics may be useful for

  • tracking real-time usage of latest publications.
  • recording usage statistics of online resources, such as data sets and digitised publications, which are generally not covered by the measurement of traditional bibliometrics.
  • finding how research has been used by researchers and the public.
  • predicting future citations. Eysenbach's research shows that "highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles."
  • providing additional usage information for some subjects with a limited number of journals covered by citation discovery tools.

Find more information about  the types of Altmetrics tools on the following websites:

Altmetric scores can be found in Dimensions and other online publication websites including AUT Tuwhera. Bookmarklet, API key and Embeddable badges can be useful for researchers. Altmetric tracks conversations around research outputs and attention sources

Find top 100 most-discussed articles in 2020 tracked by


PlumX aggregates metrics to indicate how people interact with research outputs. Find more about the five metric categories on the PlumX website.You will find PlumX metrics in the library database Scopus.


Impactstory is an application for tracking research outputs and other online sources. 

Examples of Altmetrics

Open Access articles on the PLOS website come with Article-level metrics, e.g. how many people viewed, shared, saved and cited this article.

You may find the following altmetric data in our online repository Tuwhera open research outputs and open theses & Dissertations

Usage statistics

This refers to file downloads and pages views. For example, the following image shows how many times an article has been downloaded.


Altmetric scores

Altmetric scores may also be found in the records of research outputs and theses on Tuwhera.

Altmetric scores such as mentioned by (online activities regarding to this article) , readership information, and attention score (comparing with other research published around the same time), etc.

PlumX in Scopus tracks down citation and mention data.

Mendeley readership can be found along with other PlumX metrics available in Scopus: