We are pleased to announce that we have just launched a pilot of Altmetric, a tool that will provide easy access to article-level alternative metrics for our digital publications. This tool has been implemented first on our open access journals content, with open monographs and materials in Deep Blue, the University of Michigan’s institutional repository, to follow soon.
Altmetric searches the web for mentions of Michigan Publishing content (as well as for Nature, Science, Oxford University Press, Wiley, and many other publishers and journals—we are in good company). Then, Altmetric calculates a “score of attention” for each item based on an algorithmic assessment of the relevance, value, and impact of each mention. For example, being cited in a CNN article carries more weight than a single tweet. The attention score is displayed at the top of each article, and can be clicked on to drill down into all of the instances of sharing, posting, or linking that have occurred.
Take a look at an iconic article from The Journal of Electronic Publishing as an example:
If an article has not yet been shared via any of the media channels that Altmetric tracks, no score will appear at the top of the article. This example of another JEP article that has not yet been shared demonstrates what this looks like:
There are a few ways that our readers and publishing partners can help us all to get the most out of this new tool:
- When you post articles to social media, use the “Share” button at the top of the page—this will help to ensure that your activity gets counted toward the attention score for that article.
- Likewise, when you cite or link to an article, be sure to use the persistent URL—the DOI or the handle—found at the top of each article.
- Finally, please let us know if you are aware of a niche blog or online publication special to your discipline where content from your journal might be shared or cited. We will pass it along to Altmetric to be added to their list of resources to search for mentions.
For now, Michigan Publishing envisions a two-year pilot with Altmetric to help us analyze and understand the impact of our publications in scholarly and public discourse. The results of the this pilot will inform whether we continue on with this product or seek out alternative options for article-level altmetrics.
We are excited to launch Altmetric on Michigan Publishing’s journals and open-access books! We hope you’ll check out this new feature and let us know your questions and comments.