What are Altmetrics?
Altmetrics represent an alternative to the traditional bibliometric citation counting measures – altmetrics here stands for “alternative metrics”. Altmetrics describe the attention that a publication receives on the internet – in social media such as Facebook and Twitter, but also in other sources such as newspapers and policy documents. Above all disciplines that are underrepresented in a classical scientific citation analysis approach can benefit from this diversity of sources (above all social sciences and humanities).
Why is the FWF doing this?
Research organisations such as the FWF are increasingly facing the challenge of substantiating the success of the research they fund. As a rule, success in the research system (scientific impact) is investigated by bibliometric analyses that are usually, however, limited to particular types of publication and in addition are not equally suited to all disciplines. Measuring the perception of funded research outside the research system (societal impact) is likewise important for funding organisations but difficult to implement. Altmetrics offer an approach to this which the FWF would like to test.
Where do the altmetrics values come from?
The data material comes from Altmetric.com, a commercial provider based in London, which specialises in evaluating international mentions of publications in internet-accessible media.