Oncotarget Recently Added Altmetric Scoring to Each of Its Articles - So What Are These Scores and Why Do They Matter?

Why Are Altmetric Scores Important? Oncotarget Details the Newest Feature Of Its Site.

Oncotarget is pleased to announce that we now proudly feature altmetric article reports for our readers and authors to help you track data regarding the online engagement of articles and measure the impact of your scholarly work. 


What are Altmetrics?

Altmetrics are a quantitative measure of the amount and quality of attention that an article or scholarly work receives by means of various types of online engagement, including social media mentions, citations, and article downloads.


Altmetrics may be considered an alternative or complement to traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index and are being incorporated into scholarly research and journal websites, as well as repositories managed by institutions.


Altmetrics measure more than just online engagement with articles; they may also be applied to track engagement with people, journals, books, data sets, presentations, videos, source code repositories, web pages, and other publications.


Altmetrics Data

Altmetrics provide web-sourced data that can inform users as to how frequently journal articles and other scholarly work such as datasets are mentioned and discussed around the world, as well as how they are being integrated by others in their own work.  Data may include media coverage, bookmarks on reference sites such as Mendeley, social media mentions on sites such as Twitter, peer reviews on Faculty of 1000, and citations in such contexts as public policy documents, Wikipedia, research blogs, etc.


Altmetrics provide diverse data such as the following:

·      Attention

This measure tracks how many people have been exposed to and/or engaged with a scholarly article through page views and downloads, mentions in news outlets and blogs, mentions or references on Twitter, and exposure through GitHub repository.

·      Dissemination

These metrics track where and why a scholarly article is discussed and shared among other scholars and/or in the general public sphere, such as news coverage; social media shares, and reposts, mentions, or citations on blogs.

·      Influence and impact

Some types of data collected via altmetrics can indicate when a particular article or piece of scholarly research is impacting or influencing a field of study or aspect of public health, or whether it may be exerting any other appreciable influence upon any specific community or society at large. This type of data might include references in public policy documents, feedback or commentary from experts in any field, and feedback or comments from practitioners.


It is important to remember that metrics are merely indicators that denote variations in different types of engagement, but they are not evidence of such engagement.  To gather actual evidence of impact or influence, a deeper analysis of the numbers, as well as a deeper observation of the qualitative data at the root of these variations, will be required.  Who is mentioning the research and what are they saying about it? Where in the world is the research most often being read, cited, shared, mentioned, and so forth.


Advantages of using Altmetrics

Altmetrics present a number of advantages over traditional citation-based metrics:

They can be accumulated more quickly than citation-based metrics. The speed gained by use of the Internet versus journals and books makes it possible to track online mentions of work immediately as soon as the work is published.


Altmetrics measure more diversity in the types of impact an article may have online than do citation-based metrics.  Altmetrics may also complement citation-based metrics by shedding light on the variety of forms of impact that a study or article can have.


Altmetrics let you track metrics reports beginning the moment an article is published online, and these can be useful for developing targeted strategies to manage and enhance the reputation of your research.  These reports provide real-time information that summarizes data measuring the types and quantity of online engagement with articles or publications.  Altmetrics reports are useful in helping to evaluate and compare responses and mentions from across the web, providing details on demographic and geographic data pertinent to who is mentioning the work and under what circumstances.


Altmetrics reports also provide a means for authors and research teams to engage directly with readers who have expressed interest in your work, and display a measure of your work’s impact and influence on your academic profile, NIH Biosketch, or CV long before traditional citations start to accrue.


How to use Altmetrics

Altmetrics is easy to use. Just click on a badge and sign up to receive notifications for any particular article in the form of complimentary email notifications whenever that publication gets any attention or interaction.


Altmetrics are used extensively in academia, often as support for project proposals by individuals who want to present evidence of the impact of their work, and institutions that want to benchmark a department or team’s overall performance.  Altmetrics is also widely used by libraries in recollections management and as part of digital library content, as well as publishers who may use it to track their journals’ performance.


Your Altmetric Score

The Altmetric score is calculated based on quantitative measure of the attention that an article has received, and this attention is derived from 3 main factors: volume or quantity, sources, and authors. News coverage and blog mentions are weighted most heavily, but any increase in the number of people who mention, interact with, or disseminate your article across various sources will help your score Altmetric score to increase.


How can I improve my Altmetrics Score?

According to Altmetric, a mid-tier publication could normally expect about 30-33% of its published articles to receive at least one mention, while smaller, specialized publications will naturally have much fewer mentions and consequently much lower scores.  Based on this reasoning, many articles or publications will score zero.


To improve your article’s Altmetric score, it may be useful to create a short synopsis of your work that summarizes your key findings (for example, “we performed X study on Y and got Z results”) and includes links to additional resources, such as graphics or videos. This helps make your work available to a wider audience.


Post that summary to your own blog, or ask a colleague who publishes a reputable, relevant blog to help promote your work by posting it on their blog. Use Twitter frequently to tweet about your research and encourage online discussion on the subject, using your personal account as well as any professional accounts you may also have access to or any institutional or team accounts that you might linked to.


Contact the press office at your academic institution to see if your article may be relevant and/or considerable for any publicity opportunities.  Schedule talks about your work in relevant conferences and prepare presentations that raise awareness of the research you’ve completed within your community.  Use a service such as Mendeley to archive your references and share your work with fellow academics anywhere in the world.

Oncotarget Publications Rated by Altmetrics

As part of Oncotarget’s ongoing commitment to provide dissemination of highly important scientific studies and information, our top 100 articles now feature Altmetrics scores, which you can track easily with a simple click.  The higher the quantity of interactions recorded by Altmetrics, the higher the work’s Altmetric score will be.


Spread the impact of your work further by tracking your work’s engagement, mentions, and dissemination online, and using the measurement information easily and conveniently provided by Altmetrics to devise strategic ways to increase your scholarly work’s online presence and influence.   An increase in your work’s Altmetric score can enhance and strengthen your reputation in your field of research.