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Altmetrics: Featuring Altmetric

Altmetrics (or Alternative metrics) can be used to measure how scholarly papers are being shared, used and discussed on the Web and in social media. This guide is about one of the tools measuring altmetrics, named "Altmetric".

What are Altmetrics?

What are altmetrics?

Altmetrics expand our view of what impact looks like, but also of what’s making the impact. This matters because expressions of scholarship are becoming more diverse.



Altmetrics let us measure and monitor the reach and impact of scholarship and research through online interactions. Altmetrics stands for "alternative metrics." The "alternative" part references traditional measurements of academic success such as citation counts, journal prestige (impact factor), and author H-index. Altmetrics are meant to compliment, not totally replace, these traditional measures.

Supporters of the altmetrics movement believe that doing so will give a more complete picture of how research and scholarship is used.

Simply, altmetrics are metrics beyond traditional citations.

Featuring Altmetric

This guide features Altmetric, with special emphasis on its free bookmarklet. (not to be confused with altmetrics themselves) is a commercial provider of altmetrics data. Known for their "doughnut" with a score, many widgets appear on publisher websites and even in library catalogues. Some data is available for free e.g. when used with the free bookmarklet. See more at

Altmetric constantly monitors social media sites, blog posts, news stories, wikipedia, mendeley, facebook, government policy documents and other sources for mentions of outputs. See the lists of sources and news outlets tracked by Altmetric.

Altmetric scores for articles and outputs are displayed in a lovely colourful donut. You may see these donuts displayed, for example, at a publisher web site.


Material from several other guides was used to compile this one. Thank you to the creators of the following:

"Altmetric at Stirling" LibGuide from the Stirling Campus Library, University of Stirling.

"Altmetrics" LibGuide from the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh, which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License