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Scholarly Metrics in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Altmetrics

What Is Altmetrics?

Altmetrics, or alternative metrics, measure the reach and impact of scholarly works through social media mentions and interactions. As scholarly publications are increasingly circulated and discussed on social media, altmetrics tools can keep track of the online interactions with the publications. They provide a new way to demonstrate scholarly impact, which differs from traditional, citation-based, metrics for articles, books, and authors. Altmetrics can complement, but not replace, these traditional metrics. 

Tracking Altmetrics (not to be confused with altmetrics themselves) is a commercial provider of altmetrics data. The company partners with many publishers on almetrics data, so some researchers may have seen its logo ("donot" with a score) on publisher websites. It also provides several free tools for researchers and librarians, which provides limited access to altmetrics data. is a non-profit that develops tools for altmetrics and open access. Researchers can create their own Impactstory profiles, which will track the online mentions of their publications. 


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