Research Impact/Bibliometrics

This guide provides an introduction to using Web of Science, Scopus and other resources to determine journal impact, individual researcher impact, and article impact.

Track your Author Impact

There are a couple of free tools that authors can use to track and promote their research. The two most well-known are Impactstory and Kudos.

Logo for Impact Story
Impactstory is a free open-source tool that can be joined via your Twitter account. It can also pull in your publications automatically via your ORCID iD. Impactstory is a great way for individual researchers to promote, manage, and share their research online. Some even use Impactstory as an alternative to static online CVs.

Image source & copyright: Impactstory

The Kudos logo, an Altmetrics data provider for authors who want to promote and track their workKudos allows individual authors to promote their research and track research impact metrics, such as citation counts and altmetrics, from a wide range of data sources, such as Web of Science and Altmetric. Authors can share information and resources about their publications.
Image source & copyright: Kudos

Here is a screenshot of an Author Dashboard on Kudos:

Screenshot of an example of a Kudos Dashboard with the following types of metrics: "My Shares" includes Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Other shares; "My metrics" includes Share referrals, Kudos views, Click throughs, Full text downloads, and Altmetric Score; and the "My Citations" which includes Crossref citations.attention from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, views and clicks on Kudos, Altmetric score, and Web of Science citation counts.

Track Altmetrics on Publisher and Institution Websites

There are a number of altmetrics data service providers that publishers and institutions use to enhance the article-level metrics of their pages. In this section, the most popular providers are listed. You may find these providers' badges or scores listed on institutional or publisher websites. Altmetric, the most popular provider, has some free tools available that allow you to discover altmetrics for almost any research output.

The Altmetric "Donut," or logo. Altmetric, also known as Altmetric.com, is sometimes confusingly associated with altmetrics in general. They are currently the only altmetrics company to track citations in public policy documents, and they offer free tools for use by researchers, institutions, and the public.

Image source & copyright: Altmetric

With Altmetric, you can easily discover altmetrics on almost any research output that has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI).

K-State's open access publishing imprint, New Prairie Press, has badges implemented on its site. Here's an example of a badge on an article published in the journal The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication. 

The image and link (below) demonstrates what a badge looks like on an online journal article.

Screenshot of an online journal article with an Altmetric badge, which includes the Altmetric donut or logo with the corresponding Altmetric score. The score shows attention from Twitter, Wikipedia, and Mendeley.

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) Logo with the motto "Open for Discovery"The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a nonprofit Open Access (OA) publisher and advocacy organization. They provide article-level metrics (ALMs) for all of their articles. In the upper right-hand corner of an article's page, you can view the number of saves, page views, downloads, citations, and social media shares.

Image attribution and copyright: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Screenshot of a PLOS article, with a circle drawn around the article-level metrics and the following text: "PLOS Article-Level Metrics; click on individual metrics to drill down and discover more details."
Image is a screenshot of a PLoS Pathogens article published in 2016.

To generate a detailed report of research impact metrics for one or multiple articles published by PLoS, you can visit PLOS Article-Level Metrics Reports page linked below. From there, you can find specific articles by including the DOI or uploading the file; or, if you are interested in finding articles in a specific subject or by certain authors, you can fill in the appropriate fields and then select "Search." Below is a link to a PLoS ALM Report for the article referenced in the above image and caption.

Plum Analytics, or PlumX, logoPlum Analytics, or PlumX, has the most data coverage out of all the altmetrics data service providers, but they currently have no free tools available for institutions or researchers, only subscription-based tools and products. However, you may find PlumX scores integrated on an institutional repository or a publisher's website.

Elsevier recently acquired PlumX, and since they also own Mendeley, it's expected that PlumX altmetrics will eventually be implemented on Mendeley regardless of subscription/institution access to these altmetrics services.

Image source and copyright: PlumX