A guide to understanding the evolution of impact indicators and article level metrics

A guide to understanding the evolution of impact indicators and article level metrics

You've put your research out into the world. Now it's time to sit back (or more likely, to start working on your next project!) and wait for signs of your newly published scholarship's impact to emerge. The problem is, traditional bibliometric indicators of research impact, such as the Impact Factor, can take anywhere from months to years to accrue. Then, even once generated, bibliometrics will only tell part of the story of the influence your research is having within and beyond academia.

The Evolution of Impact Indicators: From bibliometrics to altmetrics, a new free ebook co-produced by Scholastica and Altmetric, explores the challenges inherent in traditional bibliometric impact indicators and how scholars are beginning to address them with altmetrics. Altmetrics, a type of article level metric gathered from mentions of research in nontraditional online outlets, have risen as a more holistic way for scholars to analyze how their scholarship is being found and shared, even before it has been cited.

Altmetrics can be especially useful for early-career researchers who are still building up a history of citations. Additionally, for researchers looking to publish Open Access (OA), altmetrics make it possible to show the impact of works published in newer OA journals that may not have developed an Impact Factor, and in OA outlets beyond the realm of the Impact Factor. Altmetrics show the reach of scholarly outputs bibliometrics could previously not account for, such as open data sets and digital humanities websites.

The Evolution of Impact Indicators offers an overview of how the nature of research impact is changing and how scholars and journals can begin combining altmetrics and bibliometric citations to tell a fuller story of the impact of academic research.

In this ebook you'll find:

  • The strengths and limitations of bibliometric impact indicators
  • Altmetrics use cases and common misconceptions
  • How scholars and journals can benefit from tracking altmetrics in addition to bibliometrics
  • Case studies and steps to get started tracking altmetrics for journals and researchers

Altmetrics present great opportunities for scholars to monitor and track early attention surrounding their research, find new communities interested in their work, and showcase early signs of engagement to funding and job boards. The Evolution of Impact Indicators: From bibliometrics to altmetrics will help you develop a firm understanding of altmetrics and start applying them to your work.  

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