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Research Impact Library Guide: Tracking Yourself on Social Media

The guide covers ways you can measure your impact as a researcher.

Useful Viewing

Introduction to Webmetrics: a slideshare presentation by Prof Mike Thelwell, University of Wolverhampton, UK.

A beginner's guide to Altmetrics: an introduction to what "altmetrics" are, how they can help you discover and understand the diverse impacts of research, and why they're a great complement to citation-based research impact data.

Tracking article-level mentions, downloads, shares, and citations on Social Media

Besides the traditional ways of tracking your citations and metrics, what about mentions and citations on Social Media and other places on the web?

The limitations of traditional metrics are that it may take years for citations to appear and traditional metrics do not measure the impact outside the academy. They also disregard new types of scholarly communication through blog posts, tweets, bookmarking and reference managers.

Alternative Metrics or Altmetrics have been introduced as a solution. Altmetrics will not substitute citation counts or the h-index, but they supplement the metrics with additional data.  

These altmetrics tools will search a variety of open sites to look for mentions of your work. All websites describe the resources they search and explain how the numbers are generated.

A single research output may live online in multiple websites and can be talked about across dozens of different platforms. At Altmetric, we work behind the scenes, collecting and collating all of this disparate information to provide you with a single visually engaging and informative view of the online activity surrounding your scholarly content.

Visit the UCT Libraries' Altmetric LibGuide

The Altmetric app for Scopus monitors social media websites, science blogs, several media and special interest publications, as well as reference managers for references to academic works.

Altmetric is installed in Scopus but will only appear in the right sidebar of a journal article page when there is data available.

"Impactstory is an open-source website that helps researchers explore and share the the online impact of their research. By helping researchers tell data-driven stories about their work, we're helping to build a new scholarly reward system that values and encourages web-native scholarship. We’re funded by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

PLoS ALMs track the reach, use and reuse of research outcomes – from articles and figures to datasets and code – to help guide understanding of a work's influence. Because ALMs are available shortly after publication and are continually updated, they provide a snapshot of an article’s reach at any given moment.

"Citedin finds citations based on a PubMed identifier. Intended to find mentions of papers in unexpected locations: in blogs, databases, Wikipedia. Allows tracking of various resources citing a PubMed Identifier. Returned data can be narrowed by resource collection."

“Curate the peer review of your scholarly communications. Make your work visible to scholarly search engines. Track the impact & reuse of what you share online. Disseminate anywhere and collect all feedback. Support Open Access to research.”

"Using readership-based metrics we can estimate impact on the basis of the consumption of scientific content by a population of readers. ReaderMeter adapts two popular impact metrics for authors (the H-Index [1] and the G-Index [2]) and redefines them using bookmarks instead of citations... Analysing readership data can help discover areas of real-time impact that may not be visible to traditional citation-based measurements."

Networking sites for researchers

Networking sites are also useful tools for tracking authors and their research outputs. In addition to Facebook and Twitter there are other networks tailored for researchers where you can:​

  • Generate analytics at author-level
  • Connect with your research community
  • Follow academics in your field
  • Share your work
  • Subscribe to alerts

Connect with groups and people in your research area using:

​“ is a platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research. Academics use to share their research, monitor deep analytics around the impact of their research, and track the research of academics they follow. Over 54 million academics have signed up to, adding 19 million papers. attracts over 36 million unique visitors a month.”

“ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.”

You can now register with ORCID and associate your account with UCT, by choosing the "Institutional account" option on the "Sign in" page.

Visit the UCT Libraries ORCID LibGuide

​"ResearchGate is built by scientists, for scientists... Our mission is to connect the world of science and make research open to all... share your publications, connect and collaborate with colleagues, get statistics, ask questions, find the right job."

"Mendeley facilitates collaboration across the globe and in every field of research... ​Connect with researchers worldwide, make new connections, stay connected and informed."

"With groups, you can collaborate remotely with project members, set up web-based bibliographies for classes you teach, and so much more... Share your work, collaborate with colleagues and discover other people with similar interests."

"SSRN is a worldwide collaborative of over 352,400 authors and more than 2.2 million users that is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of research. Founded in 1994, it is now composed of a number of specialized research networks...such as Accounting, Cognitive Science, Law and more."

"LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 500 million members in over 200 countries and territories... Hire talent and recruit candidates from the world's largest pool, market the world's largest professional audience, power your social selling efforts, and develop talent and keep skills current."