As scholars have sought to share their research and create meaningful conversations that enhance the world’s knowledge, they have used publishing as one of the means to these ends. Finding methods to demonstrate whether these efforts were successful or meaningful have varied greatly between disciplines. Scholars are trying new and more granular ways to measure the impact of their work and ideas as the world of publishing and information sharing changes.
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Types of Metrics
Journal-level metrics are an attempt to quantify a journal’s impact by looking at how many times the journal is cited. A journal’s impact can be measured by calculating their Impact factor, Eigenfactor score, Article Influence score, and/or its SCImago rank.
As electronic publishing and citation management tools have grown, it has become easier to study the impact individual articles. Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar all have cited reference searching for tracking impact of individual citations. This granularity has also enabled Author-level metrics as well innovations in Altmetrics
This is merely a method of trying to track the impact using people as the unit of measurement rather than journals or articles. Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar all have various tools or methods for tracking impact of individual authors.
Altmetrics is a concept that tries to grapple with tracking the impact of articles and ideas that are shared in increasingly non-traditional ways. Tools like ImpactStory and PLoS track usage with tools like CiteULike and Mendeley, as well as social media platforms like facebook and twitter. Almetrics have the added benefit of being able to track and compare the impact of other forms of scholarly output, from Technical Reports to book chapters to software to conference proceedings.