Research Tips 13: Understanding Your Research Metrics 2 - Alternative Metrics
Wednesday, March 03, 2021 Research Tips 13

Alternative metrics measure how many times a research output has been shared, mentioned or downloaded from online sources such as social media sites, blogs, mainstream media and reference managers and the data is accumulated at a faster rate compared to traditional measures. Alternative metrics compliment traditional impact measurement methods.

PlumX Logo

PlumX Metrics is one of the popular alternative metrics.

PlumX Metrics provide insights into the ways people interact with individual pieces of research output (articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and many more) in the online environment. For examples, when research is mentioned in the news or is tweeted about. Collectively known as PlumX Metrics, these metrics are divided into five categories to help make sense of the huge amounts of data involved and to enable analysis by comparing like with like. You will also find the Plum Print - a data visualization where each circle represent the different metric categories by color. The larger the circle, the more metrics in that category.

PlumX Screenshot

PlumX Metric Category: Usage Usage
Is anyone reading our work? Did anyone watch our videos? This metrics includes clicks, downloads, views, library holdings and video plays. (Learn more)
PlumX Metric Category: Captures Captures
Indicates that someone wants to come back to the work. Captures can be a leading indicator of future citations. Examples include: bookmarks, code forks, favorites, readers and watchers. (Learn more)
PlumX Metric Category: Mentions Mentions
There are the blog posts, comments, reviews, and Wikipedia links, measuring when people are engaging with your research. (Learn more)
PlumX Metric Category: Social Media Social media
Includes tweets, Facebook likes, etc., that reference the research, you can see how well the research is being promoted. These also allow you to see the "buzz" and attention around certain research. (Learn more)
PlumX Metric Category: Citations Citations
Include both traditional citation indexes such as Scopus as well as citations that help indicate societal impact, such as clinical or policy citations. (Learn more)

How PlumX Metrics useful?

  • Tracking real-time usage of latest publications.
  • Measuring the performance of an article early in the research cycle before citations have had a chance to accrue.
  • Recording usage statistics of online resources, such as data sets and digitised publications, which are generally not covered by the measurement of traditional bibliometrics.
  • Predicting future citations. Eysenbach's research shows that "highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles."

Where to find the PlumX Metrics?

Elsevier is integrating PlumX Metrics into Scopus, ScienceDirect and other Elsevier products. Click on the PlumX Metrics symbol for more details, showing breakdowns of the individual metrics, bibliographic details and recent social media activity.

PlumX Metrics in Scopus
Screenshot of PlumX Metrics in Scopus
PlumX Metrics in ScienceDirect
Screenshot of PlumX Metrics in ScienceDirect