Skip to main content
Bowdoin College Library Ask Us!

Journal Measures and Citation Analysis Tools: Looking Forward - Altmetrics

"It's like we have a fresh snowfall across this docu-plain, and we have fresh footprints everywhere."

...says library science grad student Jason Priem addressing the tremendous scholarly communication happening through all kinds of new channels. "Interest in altmetrics is on the rise, but it's not quite right to call it a movement. The approach could better be described as a sprawling constellation of projects and like-minded people working at research institutions, libraries, and publishers."

("Scholars Seek Better Ways to Track Impact Online", The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2012.

More Info on New Ways to Measure

Scholarship 2.0: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

This blog writes about the changing ways of accessing scholarship and how traditional metrics are now  especially inadequate.

Scholarship 2.0 is "devoted to describing and documenting the forms, facets, and features of alternative Web-based scholarly publishing philosophies and practices. The variety of old and new metrics available for assessing the impact, significance, and value of Web-based scholarship is of particular interest."


MESUR project - Illustration from the MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources
Courtesy of Indiana University. "This 'map of science'...  shows the primary
traffic patterns of science as users move from one scientific article and journal to the next."

A primer on Article-Level Metrics from SPARC. With a focus on the article and not the journal, this primer addresses what it calls traditional and emerging data streams.  Altmetrics would encompass the emerging data stream.


Maximizing Your Influence & Impact

Maximizing Influence & Impact
A guide by University of Florida librarians Christine Fruin and Tara Cataldo with very specific strategies for increased impact, as well as links to background articles.

What You Can Do: Publish to Maximize Impact
From the Berkeley Research Impact Initiative (BRII). Similarly to the site above, this promotes copyright retention, open access publication, and repositories. 

For more information on Open Acces please see Bowdoin Science Librarian Sue O'Dell's guide.

Some Altmetric projects

"No one can read everything. We rely on filters to make sense of the scholarly literature, but the narrow, traditional filters are being swamped. However, the growth of new, online scholarly tools allows us to make new filters; these altmetrics reflect the broad, rapid impact of scholarship in this burgeoning ecosystem. We call for more tools and research based on altmetrics." (Altmetrics - a manifesto,

Elsevier's Scopus has added an an Altmetric app for searching SciVerse.

Impact Story (formerly Total Impact)

"Interestingly, they "do not include the Journal Impact Factor (or any similar proxy) on purpose. As has been repeatedly shown, the Impact Factor is not appropriate for judging the quality of individual research artifacts. Individual article citations reflect much more about how useful papers actually were. Better yet are article-level metrics, as initiated by PLoS, in which we examine traces of impact beyond citation. Impact Story broadens this approach to reflect artifact-level metrics, by inclusion of preprints, datasets, presentation slides, and other research output formats." (

Beyond Impact Measuring Research, Making a Difference. More details at: Total Impact – building a tool to understand ‘my’ influence

"Beyond Impact is an OSF funded project that aims to bring together funders, developers, and service providers to develop a community focussed on providing the tools and policies to enable more effective research assessment that serves the needs of researchers, funders, institutions, and business."

Rationale: "Research funders and government are  focussing more and more on how the outputs of research are being applied beyond the research community. At the same time the Open Research agenda with its focus on enabling and supporting the wider re-use of research outputs is gaining momentum on a range of fronts. Researchers in turn are exploring new approaches of research communication with the aim of increasing the efficiency of communication and the ability for these outputs to reach beyond the research community, yet frequently these non-traditional outputs are seen as “not counting” even when they may have greater impact."

- A new altmetrics venture -- Plum Analytics. See May 2012 Library Journal article for more information.

(Unless otherwise noted all information is from the product's web site.)

Staying Current...

Keeping Up With... Altmetrics,  current awareness  from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 


Citation Culture. a blog by Paul Wouters and Sarah de Rijcke, Leiden University with a goal of developing "ideas about the role of citation analysis, quantitative indicators, and evaluation at universities and in scientific research."


Jason Priem, a known and major advocate for altmetrics -- "In the 17th century, scholar-publishers created the first scientific journals, revolutionising the communication and practice of scholarship. Today, we're at the beginning of a second revolution, as academia slowly awakens to the transformative potential of the Web."






Bowdoin College Library
3000 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011
Ask Us!
Send Feedback/Report a Problem