Academics seem to be obsessed with metrics of all kinds at the moment, and I’m certainly not immune to it as my recent post on the h-index demonstrated. So I was intrigued by a new (at least to me) browser plug-in that gives you instant altmetrics such as number of times mentioned on Twitter, Facebook or on news outlets, or cited in blogs, policy documents, Wikipedia, etc. It’s called the Altmetrics Bookmarklet and can be downloaded (or rather dragged from the screen to the bookmark bar of your browser) from here.
I’ve given it a spin and it seems to do what it says it can do, within narrow publisher and time limits (2011 onward for Twitter, for instance). It’s very, very simple. Just find a paper that you are interested in, on the publisher’s official website; here’s a recent one by my colleagues Duncan McCollin and Robin Crockett – click on the Altmetric Bookmarklet (circled):
That gives you a drop-down of the current summary altmetrics for the paper which tells us it’s been tweeted by 14 people and mentioned on one Facebook page:
(As an experiment I’m going to see if it picks up this blog post once it’s live and will update below*).
If you select “Click for more details” you go to a new page that gives you…. more details:
And by selecting the different tabs you can see, for instance, exactly who has tweeted the paper:
It also gives you an altmetrics score for the paper (in this case 10) but it’s unclear to me how that’s calculated. Does anyone know?
That’s all there is to it. Is it possible to waste a lot of time playing around with this? Yes. Will it prove to be useful? Only time will tell. But it’s an interesting way of tracking the reach (and potential future impact) of your publications.
*UPDATE: The Altmetric Bookmarklet had picked up the mention of the paper on this blog in less than 24 hours.