Altmetrics is a combination of words alternative and metrics. The term altmetrics also stands for article level metrics. As the legacy of bibliometrics, altmetrics is related to science and scientific publishing. Altmetrics is linked particularly to online publishing, data availability and the Internet's social horizon. Altmetrics measures a publication's online visibility by the numbers of, for instance, clicks, downloads, blog posts, bookmarks, likes and tweets.


Tools and services social networking service is the first "social media for researchers" that has brought together more than 48 million members (2017). In, you can share your publications (remember to check your licenses) and read the publications of others, but you can also ask and talk about science-related subjects or ask for comments for your manuscript. In, you can monitor the impact of your publications and observe your own field of research and fellow scientists. Articles uploaded into the service are well visible in Google search queries. You can log in to using your Google or Facebook account.


This free of charge social networking service targeted towards researchers has already over 12 million users (2017). By creating a profile, you can share your publications, read the publications of others and discuss, ask and comment science-related questions. The ResearchGate's search engine will search for publications from its own system and, in addition, from several other databases (including PubMed, CiteSeer, arXiv and NASA HQ Library). The function also presents the users suggestions about groups and literature that may interest them, along with users interested in the same subjects.

Before uploading your publication to ResearchGate, check with your publisher, funder and research organisation that you have the right to share material. You can download other publications from the service for your use, but remember to check the material's rights to use. The responsibility of using downloaded material is always with the user. If needed, find out the rights to use from the original source (for example, a scientific publication) or enquire a permission to use the material from its owner. ResearchGate provides you with up-to-date information about the views, downloads and citations regarding your publications. You can also create open or closed groups and participate in the discussion forums. Colleagues can work on documents in collaboration from anywhere in the world. In addition, the site has its own listing of scientific job vacancies.

If a publisher has not defined a separate policy about sharing material in a researchers' social networking service, you can check publishers' parallel publishing policies in the Sherpa/Romeo service.


Who is talking or writing about your research online? Altmetric follows this situation using your output itself (article, book, presentation, report), your identifier (DOI, ORCID, PubMedID, URN) and all mentions in followed sources. 

The Altmetrics donut shows you in which services your research has been noticed and how much attention it has received. The data is collected from a versatility of documents and services, like media, blogs and social networking services. The Altmetric donut can come across on publishers' article pages, organisations' publication databases (such as the UEF eRepository) and also on individual researchers' websites. Anyone can easily add the Altmetric it! bookmark on their browser and also use other tools free of charge. The service also has tools with certain usage fees.


Free reference management software and academic networking in the same service. Mendeley helps a researcher with their reference management and bibliography listing. You can save your references in PDF format, read them and make notes on them (cf. RefWorks). A purchasable version has even more features.

Mendeley can be used via a desktop version (Mendeley Desktop) and online. With the browser add-on Web Importer, you can save references easily from the Internet into the Mendeley library. Word Plugin is an add-on for your text editing software (Word, LibreOffice). It allows you to add references and biography lists into your text files.

On the profile page, you can share your publications, follow your colleagues, join groups and observe the visibility and impact of your research.

Social Science Research Network (SSRN)

Founded in 1994, the oldest free of charge academic peer network that Elsevier bought in the year 2016. Contains research and conference publications of sociological and human sciences as preprints. In other words, works as a parallel publishing archive for especially the mentioned fields of science. There are also ranking lists based on numbers of downloads.


ImpactStory is an open source altmetrics tool. A researcher can use it to measure and share the impact of their publications, blog posts, files/documents and software/programs. With the metrics provided, a researcher can see how many times their work has been downloaded or shared, and a funder can find out the effects of their input by other means besides traditional bibliometrics.

The service is linked to the ORCID researcher identifier and it shows the publications' Mendeley saves and tweets, reveals their open access status, tells how many countries they have been read and shared in, tells which one of them is the most popular etc. Registration is free of charge, but an ORCID identifier and a Twitter account would be better to have in advance, if you wish to use the service. ImpactStory is a non-profit, foundation-funded organisation.


A free of charge service for a researcher, Kudos, can be used to make publications more visible and more easily findable. The service is meant for researchers who want to increase their publications' numbers of usage and references. Kudos does not function automatically but requires the researcher or other operator to add metadata to the publications' information.

Kudos has service costs for organisations and funders who want to increase the impact of the research they are financing and publishers who wish to develop closer co-operation with researchers and to increase the accessibility of the publications.


PlumX provides up-to-date metrics for research impact evaluation, but for the time being, UEF does not have this program in use (NB! UEF has a similar program, SciVal, available).

In PlumX, research impact is evaluated using traditional methods, for instance, based on the numbers downloads and references, but there are also newer types of indicators, such as likes, comments and shares in different databases and social media services (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Mendeley). The different tools of PlumX make it possible to follow what type of visibility and societal impact organisations have received, for example, on university or researcher level. Of Finnish universities, University of Helsinki and Tampere University of Technology have subscribed to a PlumX license. The analyses are based on the available data, which is exported to PlumX from selected sources of information (international reference databases, publishing registers). Besides research organisations, also research funders utilise the program.



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