Evaluating the Impact of Altmetrics
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Objectives: Librarians, publishers, and researchers have long placed significant emphasis on journal metrics such as the impact factor. However, these tools do not take into account the impact of research outside of citations and publications. Altmetrics seek to describe the reach of scholarly activity across the Internet and social media to paint a more vivid picture of the scholarly landscape. Methods: In order to examine the impact of altmetrics on scholarly activity, it is helpful to compare these new tools to an existing method. Citation counts are currently the standard for determining the impact of a scholarly work, and two studies were conducted to examine the correlation between citation count and altmetric data. First, a set of highly cited papers was chosen across a variety of disciplines, and their citation counts were compared with the altmetrics generated from Total-Impact.org. Second, to evaluate the hypothesized increased impact of altmetrics on recently published articles, a set of articles published in 2011 were taken from a sampling of journals with high impact factors, both subscription-based and open access, and the altmetrics were then compared to their citation counts.