University of Oulu

Altmetrics attention score : what is behind the numbers?

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Author: Ahmad, Muhammad1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Pages: 49
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Ahmad, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-24
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Lanamäki, Arto
Reviewer: Kinnula, Marianne
Lanamäki, Arto


Today the digital means of communication are evolving rapidly, resulting in more improved and reliable ways of communication. Now the information can be shared or collected instantly, which means the impact through information collection and processing can be faster too. The digital means of research dissemination are enabling people to share their work instantly and gather the attention a lot quicker than the past. The faster means of communication also enabled the researchers to share their scholarly work instantly to extensive and broader addressees. The faster and instant means also empowered to quantify the impact of research works shared or disseminated digitally. Thus, to determining the impact generated by the disseminated academic work over the internet a contemporary or well suited and up to date or alternative approach was required to measure exact or nearly related impact of research outputs disseminated over the web.

The requirements for measurement of the research impact over the web enabled platforms the initiate for the introduction and implementation alternative metrics was started in the last decade. Since its advent, the altmetrics has achieved various milestones regarding the measurement of research impact. The altmetrics is an alternative metric to complement the traditional citation-based approach provided another perspective for the researchers to see the visibility and the impression of research work mentioned or disseminated on web platforms. The altmetrics opened an impressive opportunity for the researchers to determine the impact of their work instantly, alongside the opportunities provided by the altmetrics there are limitations too, which hindered its progress to completely replace the traditional approaches to measure the research impact both qualitatively and quantitatively.

In this thesis study the aim was established to evaluate the altmetrics as a substitutive platform for the quantification and measurement of research influence gathered over the internet. By utilizing literature review approach this study collected most relevant research articles and analysed the collected literature to answer the proposed questions in this thesis study.

The results are collected to evaluate the altmetrics as an alternative research impact measuring platform and what does the altmetrics attention score tells us about a disseminated research work. The study found the major opportunities offered by the altmetrics and the limitations for the adaptability of altmetrics as a complete alternative approach. Conclusively, study found that the adoption of altmetrics will take time and the due to existing limitations. The alternative metrics approach or the altmetrics can balance the existing citation-based approaches but can’t completely replace them. The altmetric attention score and other indicators provided by altmetrics could be a good early indicator of the research outputs to determine the future impact of disseminated scholarly work.

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