Digital Scholarship @ Leiden

Plumb your altmetrics data with Plum and PLoS

Plumb your altmetrics data with Plum and PLoS Photo by geminess via freeimages

Last week we looked at Impactstory, this week we finish off the overview of the main altmetrics providers on the market with a closer look at Plum Analytics and PLoS Article Level Metrics.

What is Plum Analytics?

Plum Analytics is an altmetrics provider that focuses on a wide variety of metrics sources and visualizes them in their own unique icon through their PlumX product. No donut here, instead PlumX has a flower-like shape whose lobes grow and change colour depending on the amount of metrics it receives. The lobes represent five different categories of data: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations.

While Plum Analytics "registers the most metrics for the most platforms" (Jobmann et. al., 2014) it is also the one altmetrics provider researchers themselves cannot directly access. Like Altmetric for Institutions it offers a product aimed at institutions; individual researchers can get a personal profile and login, but only once their institute has subscribed to the service.

PlumX allows you to drill down on analytics on several levels. You can look at an individual article, at specific subcategories of outputs, at individual researchers, or at research groups provided they are in your institution. The details given for the various metrics are quite granular and you get to explore them in-depth. To get a good idea of what Plum Analytics offers with their PlumX product you can take a look at the PlumX page for the University of Pittsburgh

What are PLoS Article Level Metrics?

Article Level Metrics or ALMs are metrics which PLoS provides for the articles published in their journals. The metrics they provide can be broken down into five types: usage, citations, PLoS, social network, blogs & media.
Each article has its own metrics page where the metrics are broken down into Viewed, Cited, Saved, and Discussed categories, where you can find the information detailed by service and number.

Like Plum, PLoS ALMs don't offer accounts, but all the information is freely available and researchers can embed the ALMs for their articles on their WordPress blog via a widget. You can also create ALM reports based on searches by author, topic, journal, institution etc. to get an overview of the data for a specific selection of articles, for example your own.


Jobmann, A., Hoffmann, C.P., Künne, S., Peters, I., Schmitz, J., & Wollnik‐Korn, G. (2014). Altmetrics for large, multidisciplinary research groups: Comparison of current tools, Bibliometrie ‐ Praxis und Forschung, 3, URN:nbn:de:bvb:355‐bpf‐205‐9 und http://www.bibliometrie‐

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