Document Type



June 2013


citation metrics, altmetrics


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Library and Information Science


Altmetrics, or alternative citation metrics, provide researchers and scholars with new ways to track influence across a wide range of media and platforms. From deciding what to read based on tweets, to enhancing scholarship with collaboration, altmetrics will exert more and more influence on the scholarly landscape. Awareness of altmetric tools, and the ways in which they can be used, will position information professionals at the forefront of this exciting new era in knowledge dissemination and assessment.

As social media plays an ever increasing role in the communication of scholarship, the authors will discuss how altmetrics can be a valuable addition to the information professional’s tool kit. Beginning with a review of simple readership tools, and continuing with an overview of complex aggregator programs, the most promising and/or mature products will be described. Some of the many uses of altmetric data will be discussed, including the advantages of participating in large, diverse interest groups, informal reviews of formal documents, and the rapid (and arguably more complete) measure of research impact. The authors will further demonstrate how to use altmetrics to complement and enhance existing methods to provide readership advisory services for ourselves and our patrons, facilitate knowledge sharing, indicate effectiveness, and supply evidence for promotion and tenure.