What are social media metrics?

By | July 25, 2019

Definition: Social media metrics (popularly known as altmetrics) refers to the metrics (number of tweets, Facebook counts, Wikipedia mentions, blog posts, news mentions, and saves/readers in online reference management tools) for research products driven from social media platforms.

History: The idea for measuring social media metrics of research outputs first introduced by Jason Priem in 2010 and followed by Altmetric Manifesto. Altmetric Manifesto calls for including real-time and diverse research products as well as diverse forms of interactions of different users with research products across various online platforms for tracking and measuring research impact in order to complement traditional scholarly impact analysis.

Importance: Social media metrics reflects how often, by whom, and when different research products are mentioned and discussed across social media platforms. These metrics provide divers and real-time impact by different users (such as researchers, general public, practitioners, etc.) who have interacted with research products in social media platforms.

Data providers/aggregators: The main social media metrics data providers/ aggregators include: Altmetric.com, Plum Analytics, CrossRef Data Event, Impact Story, and Lagotto. These providers/aggregators differ in terms of data sources and research products they track and their different approaches in collecting, aggregating, and reporting social media metrics. Interested to know more, read this open access article. This chapter also provides a general overview of Social media metrics and its applications.

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