You may have noticed the PlumX Metrics icons in your search result listings when using the Discovery System (sometimes referred to as that search box on the Library’s homepage).

Because PlumX Metrics are already integrated into our Discovery System’s search results, we thought we’d share a bit about them in hopes of finding out your thoughts and familiarity with altmetrics and other citation impact metrics (such as impact factor and h-index).

Plum Analytics takes measurements in five domains — two (usage and citations) considered to be traditional metrics, and three (captures, mentions and social media) considered to be altmetrics:

  1. Usage: The number of times a work has been used, calculated over a wide variety of platforms
  2. Citations: The number of times a work has been cited by others
  3. Captures: The number of times a work has been captured as a bookmark or equivalent
    • Apparently captures are considered a good indicator of future citations. That is, if you go to the length of capturing an information source — saving it in a research management platform such as Mendeley — there is a better chance it will be read and used later on.
  4. Mentions: The number of times a work has been mentioned on the web in blog posts, comments, reviews and Wikipedia links
    • It is interesting to note that if an article is reference on a Wikipedia entry, Plum counts it as a mention over a citation or a social media hit
  5. Social Media: The number of likes, shares, tweets and equivalent

The icons you’ll see in the Discovery System’s search results are known as PlumPrints. You can hover your mouse over the PlumPrint in the results list for a visual breakdown of the altmetrics or click into the widget for more in-depth information about how an information source has been interacted with.

We see that Elsevier acquired Plum Analytics in February of this year, so change may be afoot. Of course, Plum Analytics is just one tool available for looking at metric and altmetric information. Other tools you may have used to help assess scholarly impact are: Altmetric, Scimago Journal & Country Rank, Impactstory, or Web of Science’s Clarivate Analytics. There are many options and many discussions surrounding these big data metrics in the academic world. We should be talking about them, too!

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Altmetrics: Further Reading and Viewing