What are altmetrics?

Altmetrics are non-traditional indicators proposed as an alternative to more traditional citation impact metrics, such as impact factor and h-index. These metrics monitor online behaviour surrounding research such as, commentary on social media, coverage in news media/blogs, citations in non-journal sources (grey literature, policy, Wikipedia), etc.  They can help you track research attention as soon as it’s published online.

The field of altmetrics is still relatively new and does have limitations just like traditional citation metrics.  They should always be used as a complementary metric and not a replacement for informed peer review.‌

Altmetric for Institutions:

The University has a site-wide license for Altmetric for Institutions.  This web based application allows you to track the attention your research is getting via altmetric measures such as news coverage, twitter mentions, blogs and other social media by moitoring mentions of research identifiers such as DOI, Pubmed ID, arXiv, ADS ID, SSRN ID, ISBNs and Handles.

Login here: using your normal university username and password


The Altmetric Score:

A quantitative measure of the attention that a scholarly article has received. It is derived from 3 main factors:

  1. Volume -  The score for an article rises as more people mention it.
  2. Sources -  Each category of mention contributes a different base amount to the final score.
  3. Authors -  How often the author of each mention talks about scholarly articles influences the contribution of the mention.

If your publication has received an altmetric score the donut will show in the Research at St Andrews portal

Guidance and Support for Altmetric:

Download the user guide here:  Altmetrics_userGuide_V2 (PDF, 1,088 KB)

Further guidance using on Altmetrics for institutions can be found once logged in via the help button.  

If you have any queries or are interested in further training, please contact

What is Scival?

SciVal is a citation analysis tool which enables you to visualize research performance, benchmark relative to peers and identify collaborative networks.  It uses advanced data analytics technology to generate powerful data visualizations on-demand using data from Scopus.  All members of the University have access to SciVal.

For more information, see the SciVal guidebook.

To login to SciVal you require an Elsevier username and password. If you have created a username and password for ScienceDirect or Scopus you can use this to access SciVal.  If you have not already got an Elsevier username and password then you will need to register for this while on campus.

For more detailed guidance and analysis requests contact: