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University of Wollongong Australia

Library support for researchers

Alternative metrics

Alternative metrics show how many times a research output has been shared, mentioned or downloaded from online sources such as social media sites, blogs, mainstream media and reference managers. This data accumulates at a faster rate compared to traditional measures. 

Alternative metrics:

  • help researchers build a narrative about their research for grant applications and promotions
  • develop effective dissemination and engagement strategies
  • allow researchers to dig down and explore how people are engaging with their research.

If your research is available through Open Access, it's more likely to have alternative metrics through web sources. Adding your publication to UOW's Research Online can boost the visibility of your research.

Alternative metrics complement traditional citation-based measures and can be helpful for disciplines such as humanities and social sciences where traditional metrics may not be available, or as useful, for showing impact.

Benefits of alternative metrics

Immediacy

Alternative metrics have a more timely sense of use and attention related to your research whereas traditional measures can have a considerable lag between publication and citation.

Engagement

Gauge the reach and influence of your work. How is your research being discussed and shared online? Who is talking about your work? Academics? The general public? Where are they from geographically?

Complementary

Alternative metrics can work in conjunction with traditional measures to help build a more complete picture of impact.

Through UOW resources:

Other tools:​

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