Altmetrics… measuring the broader impact of research

"Naptime" by  Alec Couros (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
“Naptime” by Alec Couros (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) The research simultaneously striking fear and/or relief into the hearts of preschooler’s parents

Altmetrics are “alternative metrics”. Traditionally, research quality has been judged by the prestige of the journal it is published in, or by the number of citations to a paper. About 2010, the term Altmetrics was coined to refer to broader demonstrations of impact, such as mentions in newspapers or web pages, article downloads, twitter mentions, etc. These can be seen as measures of attention that articles are receiving online.

Various projects and websites (such as or ImpactStory) now calculate the altmetrics of research papers. QUT ePrints gives the score for journal articles as well as the traditional citation measures.

Recently, a QUT authored article has been racing up the altmetrics charts. The article, “Napping, development and health from 0 to 5 year : a systematic review” in Archives of Disease in Childhood is gaining a lot of online attention and has been frequently mentioned in newspapers, tweets, web pages and blogs. As of 27 February, 2015, it has an com score of 164 (pretty fine).

It is a systematic review of the evidence and was written by Karen Thorpe, Sally Staton, Emily Sawyer, Cassandra Pattinson, Simon Smith, and QUT Library’s own Health Liaison Librarian, Catherine Haden. There is more about altmetrics here, or you can read more about the research or the eprint of the article.

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