Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
The HSHSL is a part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore | My UMB The Elm UM Shuttle Blackboard
Library Logo

601 West Lombard Street
Baltimore MD 21201-1512

Reference: 410-706-7996
Circulation: 410-706-7928

Research Impact: Altmetrics

What are altmetrics?

Traditional impact metrics include citation count and h-index, which limit the perspective of an article's impact to scholarly journals. As a way to supplement and broaden the view of an article's impact, alternative metrics ("altmetrics") track other attention and engagement such as:

  • Mentions and engagement in social media
  • Number of views and downloads
  • Mentions in blogs and news media
  • Citations in patents, Wikipedia pages, and policy documents
  • Saves/exports to citation management software

... and any other measures of engagements with and impact of your work. Bookmarklet

image of Altmetric bookmarklet data showing attention score inside a multicolored circle followed by other metrics

  • Free bookmarklet retrieves data on web pages with DOIs
  • Altmetric Attention Score (number inside circle) is a measure of overall attention
  • Other data include tweets, news mentions, Mendeley readers, etc.
  • Integrated into many journal websites

Telling Your Story with Altmetrics

You can use impact metrics, including altmetrics, to present your scholarly work in multiple ways:

  • Narrative statements in promotion and tenure packets
  • Annotations on curriculum vitae
  • Narrative statements in grant applications

... and any other context where you need to demonstrate your impact.

PlumX Metrics

image of PlumX metrics data from Scopus



  • Available in Scopus, EBSCOhost databases, and on some journal websites
  • No overall attention score
  • Captures citations in clinical sources like DynaMed

Other Altmetrics Tools