Skip to Main Content

Scholarly Communication and Open Access: Impact

Article-Level Metrics

When scholarship is online, we can see it and count it at the article level instead of at the journal level. Article-level metrics (ALMs) reflect the impact of the article itself, not its venue. ALMs aggregate a variety of data points that may quantify the impact of an article, the extent to which it has been socialized, and its immediacy. It has been proposed as an alternative to the widely used journal impact factor and personal citation indices like the h-index.

ALMs measure an article’s impact in a more granular way than an impact factor or h-index. Publishers that are offering ALMs are providing data on usage (both page views and downloads), attention on blogs and media, social network mentions, as well as traditional citations. Different publishers are offering different combinations of these metrics alongside the articles they publish online.


Altmetrics are a subset of article-level metrics that are specific to social media and other non-traditional online citations in sources like Wikipedia, online news outlets, Mendeley, CIteULike, and many more.

Tools for Measuring Article-Level Impact

A group of tools that track what people are saying about papers online on behalf of publishers, authors, libraries and institutions.  Researchers can install the bookmarklet ( to instantly view metrics for an article online.

Altmetric also offers badges that can be easily embedded on your website or other online presence that track and display your Altmetric score.

An Altmetric badge can be customized in a variety of ways, but the “donut” badge has become the standard on many publisher sites:


Many publishers (Nature, Wiley, Springer, Elsevier, IOP, American Mathematical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, American Institute of Physics, Sage, etc.) have started adding Altmetric badges to individual articles on their sites to show impact.

Example at


An online tool that aggregates altmetrics from articles, datasets, blog posts, and other social media. Create a free 30-day trial account and add your research products to create a profile of your research impact. A simple Javascript widget allows you to easily add a link to your profile to your website or other online presence. Subscriptions are $10/month or $60/year.

Example at: