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5-Day Impact Challenge

This site contains the activities and instructions for the 2017 5-Day Impact Challenge.

Day 2: Track your citations and shares

Why get involved in attempting to raise your profile online?

In today’s challenge, we’ll set the stage for the benefits of making your work discoverable online. Google Scholar and ORCID--and the subject of tomorrow's activity, Duquesne's institutional repository--work to point readers to your work so that they can not only read it, but also share it, discuss it, and cite it. Let's dive in to methods for tracking when those conversations happen.


If you really want an in-depth look at where and how your scholarship is making the rounds, you can also meet with a librarian. Contact Lisa Sciulli at 412.396.5346 to schedule an appointment. You might also want to review our guide on discovering and understanding your scholarly impact.

Step 1: Set up citation alerts

Citations are the “coin of the realm” to track scholarly impact, not only for your articles but for your research data, too. You can get citation alerts using the Google Scholar Profile you set up on Day 1, as well as from certain databases. For today's challenge, you can learn how to set up alerts using Google Scholar and/or Scopus.

Follow the steps to set up alerts in one or both of the following platforms:

With alerts set for these two services, you’ll now be notified when your work is cited in many, many publications worldwide! But citations only capture a very specific form of scholarly impact. How do we learn about other uses of your articles?

Step 2: Page views & downloads

How many people are reading your work? While you can’t be certain that article page views and full-text downloads mean people are reading your articles, many researchers still find these measures to be a good proxy.

Duquesne Digital Commons displays download counts, and sends monthly updates about user engagement with the work that you have uploaded. Many publisher websites also track views and downloads, and some allow you to set up notifications. Platforms like Figshare also provide this information, so you can track the interest in the datasets, slides, and other content you upload.

Click on the links to find out more about tracking engagement by using:

Keeping track of article downloads will help you to form a more complete picture of engagement with your work, potentially including information about when and where your work is being accessed.

Step 3: Article-level metrics with Altmetric.com

What are other researchers saying about your articles around the water cooler? It used to be that we couldn’t track these informal conversations, but now we’re able to listen in using social media sites like Twitter and on blogs. Here’s how.

First off, for those who may be unfamiliar, altmetrics (also called "article-level metrics" or "alternative metrics") refers to newer measures of impact that look at article-level data like page views, number of downloads, news coverage, and social shares. Many different altmetrics systems exist, including PLoS' Article Level Metrics (ALM)Plum Analytics, and Altmetric score (not to be confused with the lower-case generic term, altmetrics).

Altmetric.com is a service that allows you to track article-level metrics and receive notifications articles that you have published which have a DOI, PubMed ID, ArXiv ID, or Handle. This service is free for individual users.

  • Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to access and track article-level metrics for your publications!

That's it! You're done for the day. Next up: make your work available Open Access for increased engagement and discoverability.

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