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There is a growing need for alternative metrics for demonstrating the impact of research. According to David Stuart, in his article entitled “Rising Metrics To Go Deeper,” new tools and metrics are being developed to measure the influence of research that go beyond traditional measures, such as citation counts and journal impact factors.
These alternative and complementary metrics have resulted from the large number of scholars moving their work to the Web — social networks, online reference managers, and blogs. The Internet is creating opportunities to publish a wider range of outputs and outlets.
The following are some key points of the article:
There has been growth in social media research metrics.
COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources) (www.projectcounter.org) — supports ways to measure the impact of research based on activity on social network sites
Altmetrics Manifesto of 2010 (altmetrics.org) — provides discussion and examples of alternative metrics (alt metrics)
Plum Analytics (www.plumanalytics.com) — collects usage and mention of research output (like datasets, videos, journal articles, and books)
Altmetric (www.altmetric.com) — collects data on the impact of articles, books, datasets
ImpactStory (impactstory.org) — allows users to create research profiles with impact metrics
We need to deepen our understanding of metrics. Technology provides the promise of allowing more analysis on raw numbers, inter-institutional comparisons, and the weighting of the multiple metrics.
Metrics will evolve. Expansion could be in the types of:
Citations — measuring when an article is cited positively and negatively
Contributions — measuring participation of researchers in areas other than just research output
Output — collecting metrics other than journal articles, such as software, datasets, and books