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Scholarly Communication Guide

Citation Metrics and Altmetrics

Altmetrics aim to measure the impact of scholarly activities outside of traditional academic publishing and citation counts. Scholarly communication is increasingly occurring in the online environment--in social media via blogs, Twitter, and sites such as Mendeley--and traditional scholarly metrics cannot capture the impact of discourse in these venues. There is debate about whether altmetrics should complement or replace traditional metrics.

There are a number of new tools and websites that are trying different ways to measure impact in the online sphere, aiming to assess impact through how much a work is discussed or read, rather than just how much it is cited in scholarly journals.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Citations is a free tool that allows you to create a profile that tracks citation data for your research articles. It also allows you to search for other authors and follow their publications and citations. On the homepage, there is a link for Metrics, where the top 20 journals in each field or subcategory, and the top 100 publications in English, are listed according to h-index.

Instructions for use:

1. Go to Google Scholar and click on My Citations at the top of the screen.

2. Log in with a Gmail account or create a new Google account.

3. Complete your profile information. 

4. Edit your list of publications. Google Scholar will find some by default. You should double check this list, as there may be other authors with names similar to yours. The More menu allows you to add, merge, or delete articles that appear in your list. 

  • When you select Add articles, you can search for other publications to add, if you published under a different or variant name. If publications still do not appear, you can choose Add article manually and enter publication information through the forms provided. 

5. After you have made any changes to your publications list, go to the More menu and choose Profile updates to update your list of publication and related citations.

Following other authors/researchers:

You can follow other authors, if they have a profile established. When you pull up the profile for the person you want to follow, you will have the option to Follow this author in a box at the upper right. From there, you can choose to either "Follow new articles" or "Follow new citations."

Books on metrics

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