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Overview

Article-Level Metrics measure the dissemination and reach of published research articles.

Traditionally, the impact of research articles has been measured by the publication journal. But a more informative view is one that examines the overall performance and reach of the articles themselves. Article-Level Metrics are a comprehensive set of impact indicators that enable numerous ways to assess and navigate research most relevant to the field itself, including:

  • usage
  • citations
  • social bookmarking and dissemination activity
  • media and blog coverage
  • discussion activity and ratings

 
Article-Level Metrics are available, upon publication, for every article published by PLOS. Researchers can stay up-to-date with their published work and share information about the impact of their publications with collaborators, funders, institutions, and the research community at large. These metrics are also a powerful way to navigate and discover others’ work. Metrics can be customized to address the needs of researchers, publishers, institutional decision-makers, or funders.

PLOS ALMs include:

The full ALM data set, which is updated monthly as a .csv file, is always freely available online for all PLOS-published articles.

Article-Level Metrics are valuable to:

Researchers:

  • Track the impact of your research and share with others (funders, promotion boards, etc.)
  • Navigate and filter research to find what is most suited to your needs
  • Find collaborators based upon the impact of their work and relevance to yours
  • Measure research impact with metrics at the article level, instead of at the traditional journal level
  • Search, filter, and aggregate scholarly content based on research impact with metrics at the article level

 

Research Institutions:

  • Track dissemination of articles published (types of channels, rate of growth, etc.) by members of the institution
  • Access up-to-date information on the research progress of faculty members, useful for tenure and promotion decisions
  • View data on downstream impact of publications
  • Roll up data for custom reporting of department’s research activities

 

Funders:

  • Efficiently track progress of the research impact of grant awardees in an automated fashion with the most relevant signals
  • Measure research impact with metrics at the article level, instead of at the traditional journal level
  • Measure evidence of wider engagement
  • Monitor and enhance engagement from a specific audience
  • Identify high-impact research outputs much earlier
  • Analyze trends of past and future funding programs
  • Conduct network analysis to evaluate researcher communities

 

Publishers:

  • Attract authors by offering data on the audience’s research interest
  • Track dissemination of articles published (types of channels, rate of growth, etc.)
  • Provide content distributors data on downstream impact of publications
  • Gain comprehensive understanding of how publications are disseminated and accessed
  • Report on the usage of the article in ways that suit your business needs

 
The application programming interface (API) for Article-Level Metrics is freely and publicly available. More than 150 developers have already downloaded the API for reuse of the data, such as determining the total impact of articles using aggregated data.