Content originally published on Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.


The impact of research has traditionally been measured by metrics, such as journal impact factors and the times cited; however, the evolution of technology and social media has fostered the growth of alternative metrics (called altmetrics) to provide new research metrics that complement traditional metrics.

While alternative measures are still in their early stages, they are becoming a significant part of the scholarly culture by measuring the attention given to scholarly activities in social media posts, news coverage, blog posts, and other online sources. These new metrics provide a repository of data that shows who has mentioned an article or a dataset, and what participants have said about it.

In a 2014 article in Ariadne (Issue 72), entitled Realising the Potential of Altmetrics within Institutions, authors Jean Liu and Euan Adie discuss the growing use of altmetrics and their potential to positively impact universities.

Following are five of the top ways altmetrics are impacting institutions of higher learning.

Altmetrics can be…

  1. Embedded in electronic CVs to support a faculty members’ funding applications and promotion and tenure evaluations.
  2. Clustered at institutional and subunit levels (e.g., academic disciplines) for evaluation and comparison.
  3. Collected by institutions to showcase faculty accomplishments to prospective students, prospective faculty, the community, other universities, and the press.
  4. Accumulated for individuals, allowing researcher-level metrics to be evaluated, as opposed to article-level and journal-level metrics. As a result, institutions can track the impacts of the work of individual faculty members.
  5. Used with filtering tools for discovering new scholarly content that support teaching and learning.

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Content originally published on Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.