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Scholarly Impact and Citation Analysis

Tips and step-by-step directions on how to find citing articles, impact factors, and journal rankings.

What is Altmetrics?

altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship.  (


Altmetrics is a developing field that seeks to supplement the traditional forms of citation analysis, such as article citation and journal impact factor, with usage measures that can be captured through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and bibliographic management tools like Mendeley and Zotero.

Examples of Altmetrics

The following boxes are current examples of applications and websites that provide some alternative metrics for measuring the use/impact of an article.  New services and tools will become available as this field is developed.

Altmetric for Scopus

Altmetric for Scopus is a small web application that runs within the sidebar of Scopus article and abstract pages. It's a quick and easy way to see all of the social or mainstream media mentions gathered for a particular paper as well as reader counts on popular reference managers. In order to add the application to your Scopus view, create an account and go to Applications.   You must be logged on to your account when searching Scopus to see the application in the sidebar.

The following is an example of the Altmetric for an article.  


ImpactStory is a website that makes it quick and easy to view the impact of a wide range of research output. It goes beyond traditional measurements of research output -- citations to papers -- to embrace a much broader evidence of use across a wide range of scholarly output types. The system aggregates impact data from many sources and displays it in a single report, which is given a permaurl for dissemination and can be updated any time.

Metrics are computed based on  data sources, such as Facebook, PLoS, Slideshare, Twitter, PubMed, Scopus, Mendeley, etc.  See the FAQ for more information about the data.


The “Metrics” tab on each article published in PLOS ONE provides information on online article usage, citations to the article, and other indicators of impact. The regularly updated data fall into the following categories:

  • citations
  • article usage
  • media and blog coverage about the article
  • social tools for reference management as well as research recommendation and evaluation
  • PLOS reader evaluation

For more information, see the information page at PLOS ONE.