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Promote: Alternative metrics

About alternative metrics

Alternative author performance metrics like PlumX and Altmetrics highlight the value of research within and beyond the research community.


undefined  The Almetric stamp showing mentions in different media outlets


undefinedThe PlumX stamp showing mentions in different media outlets

Both of these metrics are included on each article in the ECU Repository, Research Online. Click here to see an example, to view further details of each click relevant stamp.

Alternative metrics attempt to capture:

  • A publication's downloads, views, inclusion in government policy documents
  • The online media buzz, readership, recommendations surrounding a research output on social networking platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, ResearchGate,, Mendeley and LinkedIn


Altmetric provides metrics and qualitative data that can be used to complement traditional, citation-based metrics.

Altmetrics keeps track of outputs in social media mentions, and identifies which social media channels are being used. Altmetrics also identifies the geographical breakdown, as well as the demographic breakdown of a publications mention/use on social media. This can be utilised to identify the most effective channels to disseminate information about your research.

An article's Altmetric views are indicated in the doughnut. Different colours identify the social media sources where the article has been mentioned.

To view full data, comments and coverage

  • Click on the doughnut and you will be taken to the Altmetric website to view the full metrics.

What does Altmetric track?

  • The volume (number of people, academic, practitioner, public).
  • Sources (which medium).
  • Authors who have cited the article.
  • The geographical and demographic breakdown of a publications mention/use.
  • The Attention Score percentage, as compared to other publications scored by Altmetric.

View an article's Altmetric score and data using the Altmetric Bookmarklet

  • Install the free Altmetric bookmarklet in your Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browser.
  • Visit your article, dataset, or other output’s item page.
  • Click on the bookmarklet for instant metrics and full-text mentions.


This resource offers background insight into the development of Altmetrics, including how it works, how it has been tested, how the data is collected, and how it is measured and calculated. It offers a brief comparison between traditional scientometrics measures and non-traditional Altmetrics measures, as well as their complementing uses. It highlights the value that Altmetrics hold in identifying the broader public impact, interest, and use of a publication, beyond that of only the academic community.

This Altmetric resource offers guidance on the online promotion of your research, and your brand as a researcher. It offers useful suggestions on how to communicate your research to the public, how to disseminate your publications more broadly, and how to generate interest and discussion about your research. It also provides important instruction on how to ensure that this interest is properly captured by Altmetric, so that you can utilise the data in a practical way.


PlumX gathers and brings together appropriate research metrics for all types of scholarly research output.

PlumX metrics are grouped into 5 separate categories: Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media, and Citations. The data in each of these categories is then broken down further, to give you a clear and detailed understanding of how a publication is being used both academically, and more broadly. Additionally, PlumX will highlight the most recent uses and mentions of a publication, allowing you to see the current level of interest in the research.

Image shows PlumX metrics categories of usage captures mentions social media and citations

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PlumX in Scopus

  • The PlumX icon displays in Scopus document details pages (and other database providers)
  • The larger the handprint, the higher the count.
  • Where a PlumX icon is displayed you can click on the icon to view detailed statistics.

Image shows PlumX Metrics logo


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Resources detailing how to utilize PlumX Metrics, including tutorials, videos, and webinars, can be found here.



Most publishing platforms provide an array of social media tools to invite people to read your article. Hit the share button!






How can I share it provides information on how you can share your article, while respecting the journal's access and usage conditions.


Always embed your article's DOI when referring to your article on social media, in blogs, etc.

This ensures that the usage of your article can be picked up by Altmetric tracking. If it isn't possible to embed the DOI, ensure that you refer to a page which includes your article DOI.

  • Add " number" only.
  • Add the link in the body of your post.


Generate alternative metrics by making your publications open access on Research Online.

In doing so, you will also gain access to an authors dashboard of download metrics.

More information is available on the Research Online Libguide


Create a strategic plan to promote your research.

The alternative metrics can easily identify where your research is trending, the methods by which it is being shared, and the demographics where your research is generating the most interest. By using this data to inform the future sharing of your research, you can tailor your research promotion strategy to have the greatest impact on your desired target audience.  

Additionally, you can compare the alternative metrics of publications by reputable researchers in your interest area, to identify wider target audiences for your work.

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