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Scholarly Communications at Georgia Southern University

Resources and services to support faculty and graduate students' scholarly work from conception to publication and promotion


Altmetrics are:

"...complementary to citation-based metrics (citation counts, Journal Impact Factor, and so on)...measure the overall reach of and engagement with social media accounts) and usage statistics (which showcase only the volume of attention research has received). Altmetrics can directly measure attention...or potential impact. Some types of altmetrics data can signal that research is changing a field of study, the public’s health, or having any other number of tangible effects upon larger society. Examples of this include references in public policy documents; or commentary from experts and practitioners." [Source: ]

Although there are a number of sources of altmetrics, there is no one platform that provides the entire universe of altmetric data.  Some open access examples include: Research Gate,, Impactstory & PLOS; social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn; bibliographic  management tools such as Mendeley & Zotero; and services such as Figshare & Slideshare.  Commercial, fee-based services such as, PlumX (Plum Analytics), Digital Measures, InCites & Pure also are available.

To provide a convenient way to view various types of altmetric and traditional citaiton data, Georgia Southern currently supports PlumX profiles from Plum Analytics. PlumX profiles gather traditional and non-traditional impact metrics for your work, including citations, usage, captures, and social media mentions. With this data, PlumX provides robust reports, which help you and your academic unit tell the story of your research. See below for more about PlumX profiles and reports, including our  slideshow overview.

PlumX 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. Examples include, 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. PlumX gathers and brings together appropriate research metrics for all types of scholarly research output into 5 separate categories: Usage, Captures, Mentions, Social Media, and Citations.

The Five Categories:

Usage – A way to signal if anyone is reading the articles or otherwise using the research. Usage is the number one statistic researchers want to know after citations.

  • Captures – Indicates that someone wants to come back to the work. Captures can be an leading indicator of future citations.
  • Mentions – Measurement of activities such as news articles or blog posts about research. Mentions is a way to tell that people are truly engaging with the research.
  • Social media -This category includes the tweets, Facebook likes, etc. that reference the research. Social Media can help measure “buzz” and attention.  Social media can also be a good measure of how well a particular piece of research has been promoted.
  • Citations – This is a category contains both traditional citation indexes such as Scopus, as well as citations that help indicate societal impact such as Clinical or Policy Citations.