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Scholarship in the Digital Age: Altmetrics

Accompanies a presentation by Information Commons and eLearning Librarian Amanda Starkel.


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

-from "The Altmetrics Manifesto"


Looks at data from... 

Twitter                  Facebook               Mendeley               Zotero   

News outlets         Blogs         Delicious         Scopus      GitHub

Wikipedia         YouTube      PubMed        CrossRef      SlideShare

Google Scholar Profile

"You can sign up for a Google Scholar Citations profile. It's quick and free.

  1. First, sign to your Google account, or create one if you don't yet have one. We recommend that you use a personal account, not an account at your employer, so that you can keep your profile for as long as you wish.
  2. Once you've signed in to your Google account, the Citations sign up form will ask you to confirm the spelling of your name, and to enter your affiliation, interests, etc. We recommend that you also enter your university email address which would make your profile eligible for inclusion in Google Scholar search results.
  3. On the next page, you'll see groups of articles written by people with names similar to yours. Click "Add all articles" next to each article group that is yours, or "See all articles" to add specific articles from that group. If you don't see your articles in these groups, click "Search articles" to do a regular Google Scholar search, and then add your articles one at a time. Feel free to do as many searches as you like.
  4. Once you're done with adding articles, it will ask you what to do when the article data changes in Google Scholar. You can either have the updates applied to your profile automatically, or you can choose to review them beforehand. In either case, you can always go to your profile and make changes by hand.
  5. Finally, you will see your profile. This is a good time to add a few finishing touches - upload your professional looking photo, visit your university email inbox and click on the verification link, double check the list of articles, and, once you're completely satisfied, make your profile public. Voila - it's now eligible to appear in Google Scholar when someone searches for your name!"

-From Google Scholar Citations Help


Why Altmetrics?

  • Traditional metrics like the h-index are slow. Peer-reviewed articles take a long time to appear, so it stands to reason that citations for a new article won't show up for months, if not years. 
  • Impact factor and citation metrics don't work as well in the humanities, especially where monographs are concerned. Think also about non-traditional works of scholarship -- digital humanities projects, code, datasets, academic blogging, published presentations -- that aren't published in journals.
  • Altmetrics are measured at the article level, not the journal level. Journal impact factor is not intended to be used for assessing researchers or individual articles. 

ImpactStory &


Free, open source tool. Sign up for an account, import work from various sources, and see your profile. Include all your scholarship (articles, blog posts, datasets, code, websites) and find out who is interacting with your work and how.


For-profit startup that offers their API to publishers, repositories, and scholars; some uses are free, others (like their Explorer product) cost money. I'd like to highlight their free Bookmarklet, which allows you to view altmetrics for any article. Note: it only works on PubMed, arXiv or pages containing a DOI. 


Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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