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Research Support: Altmetrics

SETU Carlow Library's guide to assist researchers with all aspects of the research process from finding information to maximising impact.

Alternative Metrics

Altmetrics or alternative metrics are measures that capture the attention a resource generates on the social web or other sources.

Altmetrics are measures of scholarly activity and impact which differ from the traditional measures such as citations. They aim to provide a more comprehensive picture of scholarly activity and of the use and impact of a researcher's work. Almetrics can provide evidence of the impact of just-published work and includes all types of scholarly output.

Altmetrics is a relatively new and emerging field and may have potential in:

  • Providing real-time indicators of impact
  • Capturing ‘practitioner’ impact of those who may never publish
  • Showing evidence of industry and public engagement
  • Being an indicator for future citations.

Where to Find Altmetrics? is a service that allows you to see how much attention any article with a DOI (digital object identifier) has received online by using a bookmarklet tool.


Impactstory is an open-source website that helps researchers explore and share the the online impact of their research. You can create an Impactstory profile with your ORCID credentials in just a minute. 


PlumX Metrics, provided by Elsevier, is an altmetrics service that tracks more than 20 different types of artifacts, including journal articles, books, videos, presentations, conference proceedings, datasets, source code, cases, and more. Plum Analytics collect impact metrics in 5 major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations. PlumX metrics are available for certain articles in Search and Find: Online Resources (see this guide for more details). You can also add a specific DOI to the end of this URL to display a selection of PlumX metrics:


Different altmetrics (sometimes also called article level metrics), such as downloads and views, can also be found on many publishers websites such as PLoS, IEEE Xplore and Wiley Online Library.

What Data Sources do Altmetrics Track?

Depending on the tool (, PlumX, ImpactStory etc.) altmetrics can measure different types of attention from many different sources:

  • Usage: Views, downloads
  • Mentions: News stories, book reviews, policy documents, blog posts, Wikipedia articles, comments
  • Captures: Mendeley bookmarks, CiteULike bookmarks
  • Social Media: Tweets, Facebook shares, YouTube
  • Citations: Scopus, Web of Science, Crossref




Further Reading on Altmetrics

Further reading on altmetrics can be found below: