Guide to metrics


This guide provides a snapshot of article-level metrics and what they mean. Context (who is saying what and where) rather than volume is important for many of the below metrics, particularly for mentions in social media and news sources.

Altmetric attention score The weighted count of the attention a research output has received online in sources tracked by Altmetric. Provides an indication of the volume of online attention but does not account for positive or negative attention.
Article and book downloads The number of times an article book or book chapter is downloaded. An indication of intent to use, not actual usage.
Blog mentions What researchers and members of the public are saying about a scholarly work.  
Facebook likes, comments and shares An indication of engagement with the public or specific user community.
Field Weighted Citation Impact A metric that indicates how well cited a document is when compared to similar documents. Takes into account differences in research behaviour across disciplines. Available from Scopus.
Goodreads ratings and reviews Ratings and reviews provided by Goodreads users. An indication of perceived quality by users.
Mendeley readers Readers are counted when Mendeley users add a copy of a document to their library. Provides an indication of early scholarly attention. In some disciplines there is a correlation between readership counts and later citation activity.
Library book holdings An indication of perceived potential value to user needs.
News mentions Indicates the reach and attention paid to research by public and specialised audiences.
Policy mentions A count of citations of research outputs in policy documents by government and NGOs. Can be used to demonstrate how research has influenced policy and action.
Scopus citation benchmarking Compares citations for an article with the average for similar articles. Takes into account the date of publication, document type and discipline/s.
Twitter mentions Includes posts and retweets. An early indication of the sharing and reach of information about research on social media.  
Wikipedia citations An indication of a work's influence on a field, depending on the citation's context.