Article level metrics: Painting a fuller picture

AltmetricsArticle level metrics (ALMs) have become an important tool to establish a more complete picture of the impact of individual papers, distinct from the publication in which they appear.  While more traditional measurements – such as citations and usage – assess the scholarly visibility of a paper, alternative metrics are emerging to measure social visibility by tracking online conversations around scientific articles. [1]

As part of our continued commitment to providing content based services to users and authors, Wiley has launched a trial of ALMs on a number of journals. Partnering with Altmetric, we will be running a six month trial on both subscription and open access journals including Advanced Materials, Angewandte Chemie, BJUI, Brain and Behavior, Methods in Ecology and Evolution and EMBO Molecular Medicine.

 Altmetric tracks social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and blogs, newspapers, magazines and online reference managers like Mendeley and CiteULike for mentions of the scholarly articles published in the journals.

Altmetric creates and displays a score for each article measuring the quality and quantity of attention that the particular article has received. The Altmetric score is based on three main factors: the number of individuals mentioning a paper, where the mentions occurred (e.g. a newspaper, a tweet) and how often the author of each mention talks about the article.

 Alternative metrics, such as the ALMs provided by Altmetric, help calculate the immediate and specific impact of an individual article rather than just relying on traditional benchmarks such as the journal’s impact factor.  Wiley will be undertaking further pilots before rolling out enhanced metrics across more journals.

For authors, alternative metrics enables them to better understand the social impact of their individual paper in real time and for journal editors, alternative metrics can help to quantify the full extent of their publications’ visibility and reach.

Our journal publishes articles that are among the most highly accessed and cited in scientific research,” Dr. Peter Gregory, Editor in Chief, Advanced Materials explains. “We want to provide readers with access to our research through all channels, with authors enjoying a prominent social media presence and excellent coverage in the global news and science media. It will be interesting to review the Altmetric data as it becomes available to better quantify journal article impact.”

 1: Article-Level Metrics a SPARC Primer by Greg Tananbaum