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Western Journal Emergency Medicine Partners with Altmetrics to Track Social Media Impact of Scholarly Publications

ImageAs a result of collaboration between the UCI Libraries and faculty in the Department of Emergency Medicine, Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health (WestJEM) becomes the first CDL eScholarship journal to implement Altmetrics information to articles published on WestJEM. Altmetrics will follow for eScholarship in the near future.

Altmetric is a commercial web tracking service which collects relevant discussions and citations around each scholarly paper from Twitter, Facebook, science blogs, Wikipedia, policy documents, mainstream news outlets and many other sources. It provides an "alternative metric" (hence, Altmetric) to gauge the impact of a paper before and beyond the traditional metric of paper citations to determine scholarly "impact." It is specific to a given paper, and therefore more distinct than the traditional journal "impact factor," which would be the same for all papers published in a given journal.

The altmetrics information provides article level metrics to readers with the colorful Altmetric "donut" or badges that measure the quantity and quality of attention the articles have received to date. This added feature enables readers to follow the stories surrounding the research. Furthermore, the Altmetric badge, which displays a score of attention and other accompanying metrics, helps WestJEM's authors track online attention and activities surrounding their work. This metric could be important for decisions regarding merit and promotions for research oriented universities.

The added Altmetric data offers readers and authors an idea of how people are engaging with research articles from WestJEM, whether via traditional or social media, blogs or online reference managers. "The Social Media Index: Measuring the Impact of Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Websites" is an example of a WestJEM article with an Altmetric score of 39, which shows the quality and quantity of online attention this article has been mentioned by blog, twitters, Facebook, and Mendeley since it was published. To find out more, WestJEM readers can click on the Altmetric badge and see the underlying mentions of these sites

For more information on this project, please contact Linda S. Murphy, Research Librarian for the Health Sciences at lmurphy@uci.edu.