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Altmetrics: Improve your Altmetric Scores

"Altmetrics is the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship." according to

Researcher ID's


ORCiD:Distinguish Yourself

An ORCID® identifier (iD) is a persistent personal ID. Using your ORCID iD is more accurate and secure than a name: many people can have the same name but each ORCID iD is unique. An ORCID iD provides an easy way to distinguish yourself from other people with similar names guaranteeing that you will get credit for your work. For more about ORCID, visit our website

View a sample ORCID iD profile

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Things to know about ORCID iDs

  • Registering for an ORCID iD is free.
  • You can choose which parts of your profile are public. (A public profile is much more useful!) 
  • You can link DOI's and grant numbers to your ORCID iD.
  • Currently working for Iowa State? Select Iowa State University as your institution in the "Employment" section. 

Connect other identifiers 

Unlike other closed systems, for-profit researcher profiles, ORCID works well with a variety of other systems (and a growing number!). Connect your ORCID iD with: 

Altmetrics: Use Cases

Using Altmetrics for Professional Advancement

An increasing number of researchers are using altmetrics to help document the varied impacts of their work in their CVs, tenure & promotion dossiers, and grant and job applications. When using altmetrics to document your research’s influence, keep in mind that context is very important for making the numbers you list meaningful. Provide contextual information like percentiles and maps that communicates to your viewer how your paper or other research output has performed relative to others’ papers/outputs.

light bulbTIP: Rather than include raw counts of your article's metrics, like this:

Author, A. (2015). "Title." Journal name. doi:10.000/10.100x
Citations: 4 / Twitter mentions: 21 / Mendeley bookmarks: 91 / Blog mentions: 12 is more effective to provide contextual information that communicates to your viewer how your paper or other research output has performed relative to others' papers/outputs, as in the entry below:

Author, A. (2015). "Title." Journal name. doi:10.000/10.100x
Citations: 4 - listed in the 98th percentile of Biology research published in 2015 on Impactstory.
Other impact metrics: listed on as being in the 96th percentile of papers published in Journal name and the 87th percentile of papers published in 2015.
International impact: this paper has been mentioned, bookmarked, or viewed in at least 43 countries, according to Impactstory.

light bulbTIP: Qualitative data is also a good way to provide context for the attention your work has received. You can find full-text mentions of your work using altmetrics services like PlumX at Pitt, and include them in your website, CV, or dossier like so:

Author, A. (2015). "Title." Journal name. doi:10.000/10.100x
Paper covered by more than 100 media outlets worldwide, including The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian.
Recommended on 12 research blogs, putting it in the 99th percentile of Biology publications published in 2015. Was described as "a breakthrough study on examples" by prominent genetics and evolution researcher Rosie Redfield.


Altmetrics in CVs and Resumes

Here are a few examples of how altmetrics information has been included in CVs and Resumes. Note how each writer gives some context for the metrics instead of raw numbers or scores.  

Altmetrics in Tenure and Promotion Portfolios

checklistAltmetrics in your promotion & tenure dossier


Some faculty are still unfamiliar with altmetrics, so do your homework before deciding whether or not to include altmetrics in your dossier. Ask around in your department with others who have recently gone up for P&T, and also your department chair, mentor, or anyone else familiar with the P&T process in your department and institution. 

If you do choose to use altmetrics in your dossier, keep in mind that it's best to be selective with the metrics you plan to include. It's much more effective to include metrics that showcase the types of impact you're looking to document, rather than taking a "kitchen sink" approach (which might overwhelm your reviewers with numbers).

For example, if you're looking to document your public outreach & engagement initiatives, you can include how often your work has been mentioned in the press and on Twitter, the pageview statistics for your lab's blog, and the citations your articles have received on Wikipedia. If you want to document the scholarly impacts of your work, you can include the number of citations you've received, how often your work is bookmarked on Mendeley (and by what demographics), reviews of your work on Faculty of 1000, and so on.

All of this information can be obtained using PlumX at Pitt. Schedule a consultation with us to help navigate the tools available to you! 


fine print ‚ÄčAltmetrics in promotion & tenure guidelines


Promotion & tenure preparation guidelines rarely include instructions on how to use impact metrics. Or, when they do, the guidelines usually only address citation metrics or, worse, recommend using journal impact factors.

These instructions often also lack guidance on how to make the metrics meaningful. For example, what does it mean if a tenure candidate says he received 5 citations for a paper published in 2013? Whether that's a good or bad number is often dependent upon the average citations that others in his field receive, and also the year the paper was published (as older papers tend to have more citations, by virtue of just being around longer). 

There's an obvious need for clear and objective instructions on how to use impact metrics in tenure & promotion dossiers. And there's also a need for guidelines to help dossier reviewers make sense of the numbers.

A small but growing number of universities include altmetrics in their tenure & promotion preparation guidelines. Some examples include the University of Colorado Denver Medical School (PDF; page 84) and IUPUI (see: "The Guidelines for Preparing and Reviewing Promotion and Tenure Dossiers").

If you're interested in updating your university promotion & tenure guidelines to better document the use and interpretation of impact metrics, contact your faculty senate (or similar organization) to learn more about how that might work on your campus. You might also get in touch with your Vice Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs (or similar campus office that oversees the writing of such guidelines).

Increasing your altmetrics score

To improve your altmetric scores you need to create an online presence and share information about your work and your research outputs online.

There are many ways to do this such as:


Blog about your articles or work and ask others to write blog posts about your work.


Become active on Twitter and tweet links to your articles and other work.

Use social networks for researchers

Create a profile and add your publication list to social networking sites for researchers, such as, ResearchGate and Mendeley.

Register for researcher IDs

Register for ids such as an ORCID id, ResearcherID and keep your list of publications up-to-date.

Make all your research outputs available online

Make all your research outputs including data, code, videos and presentations available online by using on content hosting tools such as figshare, Dryad, YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, SourceForge or GitHub.

Deposit your work in an institutional or subject repository

Deposit your work in the University of Melbourne institutional repository: Minerva Access, or a subject-specific repository for example, arXiv, a repository for physics and mathematics.