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Metrics and Impact: Altmetrics


An alternative metric to measure the impact of your research are altmetrics. These are sometimes used in conjunction with citation and journal metrics or as an alternative. Altmetrics are an indicator of online usage and impact and measure the number of times a resource such as such as books, book chapters, blog posts, computer code, data sets, journal articles, presentation slides, posters, patents, policy documents, reports and websites are mentioned, shared, downloaded, tweeted about or viewed. Altmetrics therefore highlight the public or social visibility of the resource.

You can find altmetrics either:

  • On individual profile and publication pages e.g. Repositories, ResearchGate, PLOS One
  • Via aggregators such as Altmetric and Impactstory (access through the OurResearch Projects website)

Each aggregator draws on a different combination of sources. Some sources are indicative of scholarly activity and others of more wider engagement with the public

Altmetric Explorer at UniSA

Altmetric Explorer provides UniSA with an institutional profile for all UniSA staff with publications indexed in the UniSA Research Outputs Repository for the current year plus previous 10 years. It is updated twice each year, usually in February/March, and again in September or October. The subscription is managed by Business Intelligence and Planning.

You can use Altmetric Explorer to find mentions for:

  • All publications with authors affiliated with the University of South Australia, or
  • Specific authors, or
  • Units, Centres, or Institutes

However, for your research to be indexed in Altmetric Explorer you will need:

  • An output (journal article, dataset, etc)
  • An identifier attached to the output (DOI, RePEc etc)
  • Mentions in a source they track (Twitter, Facebook etc)

We recommend creating an Altmetric Explorer account so that you can access additional functionality, such as the ability to save searches, set up Shareable Reports, set up email reports, and more


Altmetric logo [Image source: Altmetric]one of the most popular metric aggregators

Finding Altmetric metrics:

  • Some publisher sites, databases, repositories, catalogues (including the UniSA Library catalogue)
  • UniSA subscribes to Altmetric Explorer

Altmetric Explorer

Other sources of alternative metrics