Unlocking the black box of altmetrics

Scopus Article Metrics offer a detailed overview of how your article is performing

Scopus Metrics help you understand the impact of an article

When you want to measure the impact of your work, you probably look to metrics to quantify the popularity and reach of your published articles.

For some time now, we have been making public the altmetrics scores of the articles in 250 of our journals. These scores are taken from Altmetric.com and are based on social media, research media and mass media shares.

While the score gives an indication of how well-received the article has been, it is often unclear why some mentions are given more weight than others - this makes transparency challenging.

We wanted to give you access to clearer, more robust metrics that reflect impact more accurately. Our solution is the new generation of Scopus Article Metrics.

Scopus Article Metrics are only one of the options available to help you discover how your articles are performing.

Mendeley Stats, formerly known as My Research Dashboard, brings together in one place all the citations and downloads your articles have received to date. You can also find out your h-index, where your readers are located, how your publication is being shared, and your mentions in the mass media. Mentions on social media will be added to the dashboard in the near future.

If you don’t have a Mendeley account already, click here to create one and view your Mendeley Stats page.

Measuring impact transparently

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature in the world and hosts around 65 million articles. It’s worth noting that the metrics outlined below will only be visible on articles that have had time to gather interest, or are included in the 4 million that Altmetric.com monitors and scores in Scopus.

What you will see alongside the article

You’ll find the Scopus Article Metrics snapshot widget, which provides a few, key, meaningful metrics to help a researcher evaluate both citation impact and levels of community engagement.

These include, where available, citation count and Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI), as well as examples of scholarly and social mentions.

An example of the metrics you might see alongside the Scopus article.

The Scopus Article Metrics page

By clicking on the ‘View all metrics’ option in the screenshot above, you arrive at the Scopus Article Metrics details page. This provides a deeper dive into the numbers and displays all available metrics and underlying content. Citation counts and citation benchmarking come from the original Scopus data, the FWCI from SciVal, Mendeley readership from Mendeley.com, and online events are tracked by Altmetric.com. This allows us to show your citations in context, giving you an indication of how your article is performing compared to others. The advantage of presenting these metrics together is that you will see both the long-term and short-term online impact of your article.

View a sample Scopus Article Metrics page

Screenshot of the new Scopus Article Metrics page. Altmetrics are broken down by source and citations are given context.

The altmetrics component has been organized into the four Snowball Metrics categories.

  • Scholarly activity: Posts in online tools used by academics, such as Mendeley and CiteULike.
  • Scholarly commentary: Comments in online tools typically used by academics, such as science blogs, video posts, peer reviews such as Publons and post-publication comments such as PubMed Commons and Faculty of 1000 reviews.
  • Social activity: Social media posts, including on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Google+.
  • Mass media: References in press clippings and on news websites.

Each of these four categories is displayed in a separate tab, and you can click through to see further detail; for example, all the tweets referring to your article.

We hope the new Scopus Article Metrics give you an insight into how your articles are performing. Our approach to metrics continues to evolve and we welcome your opinion; if you have feedback, please contact me at h.zijlstra@elsevier.com or post a comment below.



Written by

Hans Zijlstra

Written by

Hans Zijlstra

Hans Zijlstra works as a Research Metrics Product Manager in Elsevier’s Research Products department in Amsterdam. He is responsible for developing journal and article metrics with the aim of improving Elsevier’s service to researchers, librarians, publishers and funders.


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