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Assessing the Impact of Research: Article Level Metrics

This guide will help you understand how to assess the impact of scholarly research, including explanations of terminology and assessment tools.


Scholarometer(beta) is a social tool to facilitate citation analysis and help evaluate the impact of an author's publications.

Related research


ImpactStory aggregates altmetrics: diverse impacts from your articles, datasets, blog posts, and more.


Article level metrics provide data on the article level, rather than the journal.

Altmetrics Manifesto
“No one can read everything.  We rely on filters to make sense of the scholarly literature, but the narrow, traditional filters are being swamped. However, the growth of new, online scholarly tools allows us to make new filters; these altmetrics reflect the broad, rapid impact of scholarship in this burgeoning ecosystem. We call for more tools and research based on altmetrics.”

Read this primer for a great overview. Or watch this video:

SPARC's Webcast: Peter Binfield on Article Level Metrics an in-depth look at the the current status of Article Level Metrics. For more on what PLoS is doing:

  • Article in the Chronicle: “An approach called altmetrics—short for alternative metrics—aims to measure Web-driven scholarly interactions, such as how often research is tweeted, blogged about, or bookmarked. "There's a gold mine of data that hasn't been harnessed yet about impact outside the traditional citation-based impact," says Dario Taraborelli, a senior research analyst with the Strategy Team at the Wikimedia Foundation and a proponent of the idea."

  • What BioMed Central is doing, from the BMC Blog.

  • Library Journal article on altmetrics from May 31, 2012.


Article Level Metrics

Article level metrics can be found:

BioMed Central

  • Article level metrics can be found in the "About this Article" link located in the right-hand menu (example).

Public Library of Science (PLOS)  provides the following metrics:

  • Article Usage Statistics – HTML pageviews, and PDF and XML downloads;
  • Citations – From Web of Science, PubMed Central, Scopus, and Crossref:
  • Social Bookmarks – currently from CiteULike and Connotea;
  • Comments – left by article readers
  • Notes – also from readers
  • Blog posts – aggregated from a variety of sources

Altmetric is a tool that is available to help you track the impact of individual articles. It is available as a bookmarklet for personal use, as well as being installed with some our electronic resources.

Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources Librarian

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Peter Fernandez
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