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Research Impact

Acknowledgement

The information on this page is based on the following Sparc Primer:

Tananbaum, G. (2013). Article-Level Metrics: A SPARC Primer. Retrieved from: SPARC: https://sparcopen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/SPARC-ALM-Primer.pdf.

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What are Article Metrics?

Reading glases on magazineArticle-Level Metrics offer a way to measure the scholarly impact of an individual's article. These metrics are distinct from the journal publication in which it is published. Article-Level metrics encompass data drawn from citations, usage, captures, and altmetrics. Please see the boxes below for more details about these data sources.

Citation Tracking

Usage

Usage statistics captures data on how often an article has been viewed or downloaded. Here are some tools that capture that data:

  • Web of Science: The Web of Science databases provide usage counts (number of downloads) from 2013 for each article that it indexes.
  • PlumX Metrics: Provides data on the number of times an article has been viewed, downloaded. The EBSCO databases provide PlumX Metrics for most of their articles. The EBSCO databases include many disciplines, including: CINAHL, PsycINFO, Education Full-Text, Econlit, Communication & Mass Media Complete, Business Source Complete, General Science Full-Text, Social Sciences Full-Text, Historical Abstracts, and more.
  • OpenBU: Publications in BU's Institutional Repository feature statistics on the number of views and downloads for each publication.

Journal publishers are starting to offer article level metrics for their publications. Two major publishers include:

  • PLOS: PLOS publishes a collection of open-access journals in medicine, biology, genetics, tropical diseases, computational biology, and pathogens. Each article has data on how often it has been shared, saved, viewed, and cited.
  • Elsevier Science Direct: Authors published in one of the Elsevier Science Direct Publications can sign-up to receive monthly article-level metrics.

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Captures

A select number of free reference managers offer information on the number of time an article has been saved within the manager. These include:

Altmetrics: Social Media

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Altmetrics track data on how often an article has been mentioned on social media sites such as Facebook & Twitter.

Altmetric: Altmetric tracks an articles mention on social media. While some features of Altmetric are available by subscription only, there is a free bookmark that you can download to get data on a specific article.

Impact Story: a free web-based tool that allows researchers to find and share the online impact of their work.

BU LIbraries

Guide Authors

Paula Carey
General Science, Engineering, & Mathematics Librarian
pac@bu.edu

Mary Foppiani
Astronomy, Biology, & Physics Librarian
foppiani@bu.edu

Laura Jenemann
Communications, Film, & Media Librarian
ljeneman@bu.edu

Barbara Maratos
Modern Languages, Comparative Literature, & Linguistics Librarian
bkmarato@bu.edu

Kate Silfen
Health Sciences Librarian
ksilfen@bu.edu

Dan Benedetti
Head, Pickering Education Resources Library
benededa@bu.edu