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Altmetrics for Researchers

This guide provides information on altenative metrics (altmetrics).

Altmetrics Tracking Tools

Plum Analytics

  • Founded by Andrea Michalek and Mike Buschman in late 2011.
  • Acquired by EBSCO in January 2014. 
  • Step 4, 2014 - ORCID and Plum Analytics Collaboration 
  • On Feb 2, 2017, it was acquired by Elsevier from EBSCO. It is integrated into Elsevier's products like Scopus, ScienceDirect, SciVal, and Pure.
  • Its functions are: 
    • To assess research by analyzing the five categories of metrics:  Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media, Citations
    • Plum Analytics tracks more than 20 different types of artifacts, including journal articles, books, videos, presentations, conference proceedings, datasets, source code, cases, and more.
    • PlumX is the tool to harvest metrics from various online sources and the impact dashboard for measuring research output.
    • University of Pittsburgh is the 1st institution to implement PlumX 
    • Available via subscription.

  • Founded by Euan Adie in 2011, based in London to track and analyze the online activities around scholarly literature.
  • Its functions and features are: 
    • Altmetric donuts :    The number in the center of the donut is the Altmetric score. The colors surrounding the donut reflect the mix of sources mentioning that score - blue for Twitter, yellow for blogs, red for mainstream media sources, etc.
    • The Altmetric Explorer captures tweets, blog posts, news stories and other content that mention scholarly articles weekly. It also lets researchers monitor, search and measure conversations about their publications and those of their peers.
    • The Altmetric Badges – impact visualized.
    • The Altmetric Bookmarklet - gets article level metrics for recent papers for free. For more info, read Altmetrics in Action: applications for researchers. How to install the Altmetric Bookmarklet? Watch this video.


  • Started as Total-Impact in 2011; later co-founded by Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem in 2012.
  • Funded by Open Society Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and NSF.
  • Open source and free (used to charge $60 in September 19, 2014, then it stopped).
  • Users can log in via ORCID or Twitter account.
  • Feb 7, 2017 – Elsevier acquired Plum Analytics. Its metrics are now embedded in Elsevier’s research products: Scopus, Mendeley, ScienceDirect, SciVal, and Pure.
  • On June 23, 2017, Announcement was made that it partners with Clarivate Analytics to make open access content easier for researchers to use. 
  • Its functions are: 
    • Aggregates metrics from a variety of sources: 1) Open metrics; 2) With contex: sort metrics by engagement type and audience; 3) Diverse products: Datasets, software, slides, and other research products are presented as an integrated section of a comprehensive impact report, alongside articles



Last updated: February 8, 2018

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