The PSA and Wiley are pleased to announce that Altmetrics, a service that tracks and measures the broader impact of scholarly articles and datasets across traditional and social media, is now available for all the PSA's journals.
So, what does it all mean?
Alternative metrics or ‘altmetrics’ track data derived from online activity and discussions about individual scholarly papers, from social media sources (Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc), the mainstream media (newspapers and magazines), online reference managers such as Mendeley and CiteULike, to public policy documents (such as those published on health and climate change).
Altmetric monitors these sources for mentions of scholarly articles published in Wiley journals and reports back at the article level. Articles will display a score indicating the quality and quantity of attention that the article has received. This score is based on three main factors: the number of individuals mentioning a paper, where the mentions occurred, and how often the author of each mention talks about the article. Users clicking on the Altmetric ‘badge’(see figure 1) on Wiley Online Library will reach a data page (see figure 2) displaying the score and the detail behind it, for that article.
Why more metrics?
Traditional metrics, such as Impact Factor, are well established and understood, but typically report at an aggregated journal level. With increased online usage and the rapid development of new tools for article discoverability, there is a desire to incorporate some of these new measures into understanding the more immediate impact of a specific research article, or even the authors’ impact.
Altmetric allows authors and readers direct access to the online conversations surrounding an article, by medium, source, as well as region. In a survey we conducted during the pilot, 87% of respondents said they would use the metrics to gauge the popularity of an article and 77% said they would use the metrics to discover and network with researchers conducting similar work. Authors and readers can also opt to be alerted each time there is an online mention of a particular article.
Journal editors can immediately see which articles are gaining traction online, which they may use to inform future editorial decisions.
Altmetrics are unlikely to replace traditional metrics anytime soon, but our aim is to provide our authors, readers and editors with a more complete picture of the impact of published research.