What is Altmetrics?

Altmetrics is the abbreviation of Alternative Metrics, meaning alternate scales. The aim of Altmetrics is to measure web based research interactions including issues such as how a research gets tweeted or blogs are written about them or even gets bookmarked. As is evident by the name, Altmetrics is creation and study of new scales based on social web for the analysis and giving information about researches. Altmetrics offers an alternative for current activities without absolute reliance on the citation counts and the journal’s impact factors for quantity analysis of impact through the introduction of complementary approaches and new databases. Altmetrics specifically looks into social web and employs it for the research analysis and investigation.  

Most of researches don’t agree on the idea of substituting Alternative Metrics for traditional citation based indexes and believe that Altmetrics is the consequence of new technologies applied in the presence of social virtual networks for measuring of scientific research impact and there is a consensus on it by the researches.  Altmetrics is a new method of measuring impact and distribution of academic researches and soon turned to the center of hot debates and arguments because it has become a quick and appropriate means for evaluating merits of professors and lecturers for the receipt of educational funds and grants. On the other words, Altmetrics has brought dissemination or destruction to the digital world.

Altmetrics’ philosophy and approach is to gather the maximum amount of data about the highest number of online articles, increasing the speed and the scale of extensive work and concentration on databases assessable by the users, for example if we say this article is tweeted 5 times, the user can observe 5 related links, tweeter’s user names and time tags of each. The uses of Altmetrics include related discussions, links to the article pages, reinforcement of page analysis for readers and addition of social data to search indexes for the strengthening of the most highly shared and the most popular indexes.

Since there is high variety of data and databases, the audiences often use Altmetrics as a bilateral product for discussion and sharing of research products. It is supposed that Altmetrics shows more precise and intricate points of the research impact and represent a wider range of audience. Altmetrics can show some concealed aspects of the research procedure which were not obvious earlier and provide exact information about the impact of the research and the way it is measured. 

About the simplicity of data gathering in Altmetrics it can be said that although webometric researches and the studies of electronic readers try to reflect the impact of the study in a wider concept, most of them are limited by scalability and data access. Regarding the fact that Altmetrics concentrates on social media platforms and often provides free access to data through connections of web applications, the task of data gathering is less problematic in this method.

Altmetrics expands our vision about what seems impact and what makes impact and this an important matter, because research has become quite diversified and increasingly accessible within different formats. Since Altmetrics itself is very diversified, therefore it can best work for the measuring of impact in various ecosystem of research. In fact, Altmetrics would be necessary for the investigation of these new formats because they are outside the range of traditional filters. Altmetrics is fast and makes use of general applications for data gathering in days or week. Altmetrics is open and includes not only data but scripts and algorithms that gather and interpret them. The speed of Altmetrics provides an opportunity for the instant propositions and common filtering systems based on which the researcher can receive a feed of the most important professional works in his own field in current week instead of submitting in numerous of tables of contents. Through Altmetrics, users will be able to do counting and measuring of scientific issues by themselves rather than relying on an institute to direct the impact evaluation. When greater number of the users interact with web content, they leave a more distinct trace and this provides effective data for Altmetrics.

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