What is Altmetric and how it is calculated?

There was a time when only the number of research publications mattered. Then, came the period where the number of citations too mattered. Now, ‘mentions’ and ‘uses’ also matter. The publishing landscape keeps changing along with the ever-changing digital applications, tools and social media. Most international peer reviewed journals have Altmetric as one of the key metrics alongside the number of views and citations.

Your job, as an author does not end with the publication. You also need to work on increasing the number of views, citations, and the Altmetric! Lots of work to do.

Altmetric, alternative metric represented by a donut badge, measures both academic citations and non-academic mentions. While many of you are aware of the traditional academic citations, others are still ignorant of the latter. Non-academic mentions include mentions in social media handles such as Twitters, Facebook, bookmarks in reference management tools like Zotero and Mendeley. While the traditional citations do not count social media mentions or any non-academic platforms for that matter, Altmetric takes into account all online activities that are related to the publication- blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, newspapers, or even Wikipedia.  Simply put, Altmetric is about your online presence and popularity.

Each colour in the Altmetric donut represents different online sources. For example, blue represents Twitter, red colour represents news outlets, yellow represents blogs, and purple represents policy documents.

If your article has mentions in tweets only and no other sources, it will appear completely blue and if it has more tweets and few mentions in blogs, it will appear blue with some yellow.

How to increase Altmetric score of your article

To have an Altmetric score, your article needs to have the digital object identifier (DOI). If it has not been assigned any DOI, you may at least deposit your publication to an Institutional repository such as Minerva Access.

Post or tweet about your article by including the URL or DOI in the post. Promote your article on social media with your connections.

Open-access articles have more chances to get more views, downloads or citations. If you can keep your article open-access, it will work great for increasing the score.

This article: The association between early career informal mentorship in academic collaborations and junior author performance has one of the highest Altmetric score in Social Sciences- 14,013 Tweets, 22 news stories, 7 blog posts, 4 Facebook posts, 4 Reddit posts and 3 videos.

Note that a high Altmetric score does not necessarily mean a high quality of your article but it shows its popularity, online visibility and impact on online interactions.

Picture Credit: Google.

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