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Using Social Media for Research Purposes - a guide. Version 2.0

How to use social media tools for further your research.

Your Impacts

Measuring your impact

You measure your impact by counting mentions of your work or with your published outputs, for example, the number of times the full text of your articles are downloaded. Traditionally these impacts or metrics were citation-based. However, on the internet all activity is trackable creating a new series of metrics also called altmetrics, for example, number of Tweets, mentions on blogs or number of downloads.

Citation Metrics

These tools are free to register and access. The number of citations will vary depending on the dataset from which citations are derivedGoogle Scholar citations counts tend to be high, ResearcherID lower.

Google Scholar Citations [ ] Tracks your citations and calculates additional metrics e.g. h-index.

ResearchGate (RG) [ ] Calculates citations and downloads by RG usersOther metrics such as the RG Score are not widely accepted.

ResearcherID [ ] Calculates citation metrics.


Altmetric [ ] calculates article level metrics based tracking a number of sources including social media.

The Altmetrics Bookmarklet for your web browser can automatically calculate Altmetrics for articles with a DOI or PubMed.

ImpactStory [ ] Now subscription only but with as 30 day free trial. Draws in bibliographic data from ORCiDGoogle Scholar and other sources and generates a profile page where you can track your metrics.

Mendeley [ ] records readership statistics, the number of times a reference is saved into a personal library. This is used by some services, such as ImpactStory as a metric.


altmetrics: a manifesto Available from: [ Accessed 27 March 2016 ]