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Citation Impact

Article Impact

Article-Level Metrics (ALMs) track how often an individual article has been cited, shared, mentioned, and used in online platforms.  ALMs include Altmetrics, which focus on social media resources.  For more detailed definitions, or to download a full primer on ALMs, check out the SPARC website.

Resources for Article-Level Metrics

Article citations are a traditional measure of article-level impact.  Citation Databases can be used to determine how many times an article has been cited within that particular database.  This can be a laborious process; the more databases and data resources that you consult, the more complete your list of citing documents will be.  

Google Scholar can be very helpful in tracking article-level metrics, as Google tracks this data more broadly.  You can set up a free profile to track citations to your articles.  If you have access to them, Web of Science and Scopus are also powerful tools for gathering article-level metrics.

Google Scholar

The Lens is also useful for tracking metrics.  It may be particularly useful if you are looking for citations of book chapters, which are not as well represented in Google Scholar, Web of Science, or Scopus. Lens provides metrics for a variety of research outputs such as patents, scholarly works (including journal articles, monographs, and others), academic profiles, patent classifications, and climate landscapes, referring particularly to reports on climate change. It can also aggregate metadata related to patents to also include biological sequences within patent literature. Lens draws its data from patents offices around the world as well as academic databases.


PLOS provides article-level metrics on its articles, including altmetrics.  Click on the Metrics or Media Coverage tabs at the top of any PLOS article for ALMs.  PLOS also has a tool for creating summaries and visualizations called ALM Reports.

PLOS metrics and media coverage tabs

PlumX Metrics include traditional and altmetric data for ALMs.  PlumX is affiliated with Elsevier, which has incorporated PlumX Metrics within its own products, including Mendeley, Science Direct, and Scopus.  PlumX analytics are available in our own Digital Commons records as well as many open access journals.


PlumX button in the Digital Commons

Impactstory offers free altmetrics based on social media, blogs, and news outlets.  Impactstory was created by the same team that developed Unpaywall, and is an open-source website that is a registered nonprofit.  You can sign up for a free profile with a Twitter account.

Impactstory sample profile

Impactstory sample profile