Journal of Scientometric Research, 2014, 3, 1, 82-92.
Published: May 2014
Type: Perspective Paper
Anup Kumar Das*, Sanjaya Mishra1
Centre for Studies in Science Policy, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University,
1Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia, New Delhi, India
The article‑level metrics (ALMs) or altmetrics becomes a new trendsetter in recent times for measuring the impact of scientific publications and their social outreach to intended audiences. The popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin and social bookmarks such as Mendeley and CiteULike are nowadays widely used for communicating research to larger transnational audiences. In 2012, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment got signed by the scientific and researchers communities across the world. This declaration has given preference to the ALM or altmetrics over traditional but faulty journal impact factor (JIF)‑based assessment of career scientists. JIF does not consider impact or influence beyond citations count as this count reflected only through Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science® database. Furthermore, JIF provides indicator related to the journal, but not related to a published paper. Thus, altmetrics now becomes an alternative metrics for performance assessment of individual scientists and their contributed scholarly publications. This paper provides a glimpse of genesis of altmetrics in measuring efficacy of scholarly communications and highlights available altmetric tools and social platforms linking altmetric tools, which are widely used in deriving altmetric scores of scholarly publications. The paper thus argues for institutions and policy makers to pay more attention to altmetrics based indicators for evaluation purpose but cautions that proper safeguards and validations are needed before their adoption.