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Publication Metrics

This guide provides an overview to authors on various metrics designed to measure scholarly research outputs at the author, journal, and article level.


Altmetrics is used to refer to "alternative metrics" or "article-level metrics." Altmetrics attempts to fill a gap in traditional metrics by using social media mentions, link backs, blogs, news outlet coverage, and other web metrics to measure the attention given to a particular work. Altmetrics are especially well suited to datasets and types of scholarly work not covered by traditional metrics. As with other metrics, altmetrics don't necessarily tell you anything about the quality of the individual publication. It's always best to review the publication yourself and investigate mentions as need be.

Where to Find Article Level Metrics?

Some article level metrics are incorporated onto individual publisher and journal pages, such as Public Library of Science (PLoS) publications

Another option is to use a tool like, Altmetric Bookmarklet in Firefox, Google Chrome, or Safari. Clicking the bookmarklet when looking at an article, will display a colorful wheel containing the Altmetric Attention Score and additional information about where it was mentioned.

  • The bookmarklet only works on pages containing a DOI
  • It only supports publishers who embed Google Scholar friendly citation metadata on their pages by default
  • Twitter mentions are only available for articles published since July 2011

Scopus Field-Weighted Citation Impact

In Scopus, the field-weighted citation impact (FWCI) shows how well cited this document is when compared to similar documents. A value greater than 1.00 means the document is more cited than expected according to the average. It takes into account:

  • The year of publication
  • Document type, and
  • Disciplines associated with its source.

Click on any article and look to the column on the right to see the FWCI. You can also view PlumX metrics in Scopus which show save and download data from select resources.

screenshot of FWCI which reads 3.6