What is it?

Besides traditional citation counts, there are many complementary and alternative ways of tracking research impacts. They try to capture the presence in new scholarly venues, presence and impact in social media and other forms of online engagement, such as views, downloads, bookmarks, etc. Collectively, we refer to these as alternative metrics or altmetrics, as opposed to traditional citation measurement using Web of Science, Scopus and other citation enhanced databases.

What is it used for?

Altmetrics can be used to illustrate the wider impact of your research on other scholars, the public, policy makers, practitioners, and more.

Different types of altmetrics

A classification of altmetrics is provided by The Public Library of Science (PLOS). 1 These types fall into the following categories with increasing engagement:


Activity of users accessing the article online, e.g.:

  • number of views
  • number of visits/visitors
  • number of downloads


Activity of saving publications and social bookmarking in online bibliography managers, which helps researchers organize papers for themselves as well as share them with others, e.g.:


Discussions and mentions of the research, e.g.:

  • comments on articles
  • blogs
  • Wikipedia
  • Twitter
  • Facebook


Activity of a user formally endorsing the publication, e.g.:


Documented formal citation in secondary sources, e.g. for number of references by Wikipedia:

Google Scholar also documents citations in different type of sources.

Other types

  • number of likes
  • number of collaborators
  • number of shares in social media
  • number of library holdings
  • book ratings on and Goodreads

Altmetric is a Digital Science company, which tracks and analyses the online activity around scholarly research outputs.

The Altmetric Attention Score for a research output provides an indicator of the amount of attention that it has received.

How the Almetric Attention Score is calculated.

Also available is a bookmarklet for integration with the toolbar in Internet browsers (Chrome, Firefox or Safari).

Altmetrics in DiVA

Publicly available altmetrics for each publication record in DiVA potentially include:

  • number of full-text downloads
  • number of visits
  • Altmetric Attention Score from

Altmetrics in Halmstad University's staff profile pages

The publication records from DiVA that is added to your staff profile page include any available Altmetric Attention Score from

Short introductory video


This article is partly based on a work by Utrecht Unversity Library at

1. Lin, J.; Fenner, M. (2013). "Altmetrics in Evolution: Defining and Redefining the Ontology of Article-Level Metrics". Information Standards Quarterly 25 (2): 24. doi: 10.3789/isqv25no2.2013.04

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