17 Essential Altmetrics Resources

As the journal impact factor continues to be challenged by academics, many wonder what measures can take its place if it is indeed eradicated. Surely, we will have to continue to provide objective metrics that measure both the productivity and impact of scholars across the disciplines, won’t we? Some have posited that altmetrics (article-level metrics that measure impact across the social web) may be a good replacement for the impact factor; others contend that altmetrics can serve only as a supplement to existing, more traditional measures of research quality.

I have been asked several times by other librarians to compile a recommended reading list for those who wish to learn more about altmetrics. What I’ve created here is by no means comprehensive; instead, it is intended to be a starting point for further investigation into the field. By including several articles about the impact factor, as well as critiques of the use of research metrics and altmetrics to measure scholarship’s quality, I hope to provide a contextualized view into the field. I also include links to three web services (Altmetric.com, ImpactStory, and PLOS Article Level Metrics) that can be used to track altmetrics.

I’ll soon release a reading list scoped specifically for altmetrics used in the context of academic libraries. Stay tuned!