Social Media and Citation Metrics

Linda M. Galloway, Anne E. Rauh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Quantifying scholarly output via traditional citation metrics is the time-honored method to gauge academic success. However, as the tentacles of social media spread into professional personas, scholars are interacting more frequently and more meaningfully with these tools. Measuring the influence and impact of scholarly engagement with online tools and networks is gaining importance in academia today. Assessing the impact of a scholar’s work can be measured by evaluating several factors including the number of peer-reviewed publications, citations to these publications and the influence of the publications. These metrics take a relatively long time to accumulate, some are available only via subscription resources, and often measure influence only on a specific scientific community. While these accepted tools provide a means to weigh scholarly output, they do not tell the entire story. Increasingly, scholars are engaging with social media in a professional capacity. From following tweets of fellow conference attendees to hearing about newly published papers, researchers are becoming more reliant upon crowdsourced peer review. As the acceptance of social media and online tools has progressed, interest in employing these tools to gauge academic success has been amplified. There is some very interesting work being done on alternative scholarly metrics, or altmetrics (Priem, Taraborelli, Groth, Neylon, Cameron, 2010). Some of the more mature tools will be discussed, along with current research that connects social networks with citation metrics (Eysenbach, 2011). In addition, acceptance of these tools in scientific disciplines will be addressed, along with the methods that information professionals can use to help facilitate their use.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSLA Contributed Papers
StatePublished - 2013


  • altmetrics
  • citation metrics
  • social media
  • research impact


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