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Do altmetrics point to the broader impact of research? An overview of benefits and disadvantages of altmetrics

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Today, it is not clear how the impact of research on other areas of society than science should be measured. While peer review and bibliometrics have become standard methods for measuring the impact of research in science, there is not yet an accepted framework within which to measure societal impact. Alternative metrics (called altmetrics to distinguish them from bibliometrics) are considered an interesting option for assessing the societal impact of research, as they offer new ways to measure (public) engagement with research output. Altmetrics is a term to describe web-based metrics for the impact of publications and other scholarly material by using data from social media platforms (e.g. Twitter or Mendeley). This overview of studies explores the potential of altmetrics for measuring societal impact. It deals with the definition and classification of altmetrics. Furthermore, their benefits and disadvantages for measuring impact are discussed.
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... 2 Altmetrics has emerged as a practical alternative although it is an article-level metric that provides no information regarding the social or the scientific impact of a researcher. 3 Therefore, if these measures of impact are to complement the traditional bibliometrics, we propose that there should be an author-level Altmetrics that would reflect the real-time existence of a researcher since the records on the database are updated daily. ...
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... 2 Altmetrics has emerged as a practical alternative although it is an article-level metric that provides no information regarding the social or the scientific impact of a researcher. 3 Therefore, if these measures of impact are to complement the traditional bibliometrics, we propose that there should be an author-level Altmetrics that would reflect the real-time existence of a researcher since the records on the database are updated daily. ...
... During the recent years, altmetric has emerged as an alternative measure of impact of research publications [39], [40], [41]. It tries to measure the activity around research articles in social media and academic social networks etc. [42]. ...
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... Ravikumar (2018) stated that though the altmetric variables are nascent, the new media tools are penetrating the traditional citation area, which was considered the tool for evaluating scientific literature. Bornmann (2014), Robinson-García et al. (2014), Roemer and Borchardt (2015) and Williams (2017) also discussed the effectiveness of altmetric tools as an impact assessment tool from different angles. ...
Article
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... Altmetrics, articulated by Priem et al. (2010) and a group of scientists, uses data from the social web to track and quantify interactions and is proposed as complementary to citation-based metrics. Studies in the past have investigated the use of Altmetrics, and it is noted to be a very useful tool for informing scholarship (Bornmann, 2014(Bornmann, , 2015. Altmetrics Attention Score (AAS) used in the study is defined as the weighted count of all the online attention found for individual research output. ...
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... Nacidas como crítica y alternativa a los indicadores de citación tradicionales (Priem et al., 2010;Torres-Salinas, Cabezas-Clavijo y Jiménez-Contreras, 2013), las altmétricas o altmetrics se definieron originariamente como «el estudio y uso de medidas de impacto académico basado en la actividad en herramientas y medios electrónicos en línea» 1 (Priem, 2014: 266). Una definición un tanto ambigua que levantó las expectativas de muchos, viendo en ella una vía para cuantificar el impacto social de los trabajos académicos de manera rápida y sencilla (Bornmann, 2014;Haustein, 2016). Asimismo, despertó un gran interés comercial, con grandes editoriales comprando y comercializando productos y proveedores de altmétricas. ...
Book
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... The existing indexing techniques incorporate limited scholastic features; hence, they are susceptible to incompleteness and disparity. The concept of altmetrics helps in measuring a broader influence of scholars by incorporating a variety of scientific and social features from different web platforms, social media posts, blogs, press releases and online articles [14,67]. Though altmetrics are gaining immense attention, they are constrained by platform or source reliability [16,17,44]. ...
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