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Alternative metrics

The perception of scientific publications no longer depends solely on the response in purely scientific publication organs. Research content is increasingly cited and discussed in new media, such as Twitter or science blogs. Researchers themselves draw attention to their research in social media or are invited as guests on podcasts. Through these channels, a discussion of research content and its methodology can be discussed with a wider audience beyond the peer-review process. It also can increase the resonance and outreach of research content.

The scope of attention in newer media can be measured, for example, by the number of clicks or downloads, but also by mentions or bookmarks set. These alternative metrics (altmetrics) are processed by different providers, such as Digital Science (Altmetric) or Elsevier.

Alternative metrics are not a substitute for traditional bibliometric metrics, but can be used to supplement them. Again, a high number of mentions does not necessarily equate to a high level of quality.