Monday, 30 May 2016

The ultimate guide to staying up-to-date on your articles’ impact - Impactstory blog


The ultimate guide to staying up-to-date on your articles’ impact

published a paper–congrats!  Has anyone read it?  Cited it?  Talked
about it on Twitter?  How can you find out–as it happens?
Automated alerts!  Email updates that matter come right to you.
We’ve compiled a two-part primer on the services that
deliver essential research impact metrics straight to your inbox, so you
can stay up to date without having to do a lot of work.
In this post, we’ll share tips for how to automagically
track citations, altmetrics and downloads for your publications; in our
next post, we’ll share strategies for tracking similar metrics for your
data, code, slides, and social media outreach.


Let’s start with citations: the “coin of the realm” to
track scholarly impact. You can get citation alerts in two main ways:
from Google Scholar or from traditional citation indices.

Google Scholar Citations alerts

Google Scholar citations track any citations to your work
that occur on the scholarly web. These citations can appear in any type
of scholarly document (white papers, slide decks, and of course journal
articles are all fair game) and in documents of any language. Naturally,
this means that your citation count on Google Scholar may be larger
than on other citation services.
To get Google Scholar alerts, first sign up for a Google Scholar Citations account and add all the documents you want to track citations for. Then, visit your profile page and click the blue “Follow” button at the top of your profile. You’ll see a drop-down like this:

Screenshot of a Google Scholar profile, showing the blue
Enter your preferred email address in the box that appears, then
click “Create alert.” You’ll now get an alert anytime you’ve received a

Citation alerts via Scopus & Web of Knowledge

Traditional citation indices like Scopus and Web of
Knowledge are another good way to get citation alerts delivered to your
inbox. These services are more selective in scope, so you’ll be notified
only when your work is cited by vetted, peer-reviewed publications.
However, they only track citations for select journal articles and book
chapters–a far cry from the diverse citations that are available from
Google Scholar. Another drawback: you have to have subscription access
to set alerts.

Web of Knowledge

Web of Knowledge offers article-level citation alerts.
To create an alert, you first have to register with Web of Knowledge by
clicking the “Sign In” button at the top right of the screen, then
selecting “Register”.

Then, set your preferred database to the Web of Science
Core Collection (alerts cannot be set up across all databases at once).
To do that, click the orange arrow next to “All Databases” to the right
of “Search” in the top-left corner. You’ll get a drop-down list of
databases, from which you should select “Web of Science Core
Now you’re ready to create an alert. On the Basic Search
screen, search for your article by its title. Click on the appropriate
title to get to the article page. In the upper right hand corner of the
record, you’ll find the Citation Network box. Click “Create citation
alert.” Let Web of Knowledge know your preferred email address, then
save your alert.


In Scopus,
you can set up alerts for both articles and authors. To create an alert
for an article, search for it and then and click on the title in your
search results. Once you’re on the Article Abstract screen, you will see
a list of papers that cite your article on the right-hand side. To set
your alert, click “Set alert” under “Inform me when this document is
cited in Scopus.”
To set an author-level alert,
click the Author Search tab on the Scopus homepage and run a search for
your name. If multiple results are returned, check the author
affiliation and subjects listed to find your correct author profile.
Next, click on your author profile link. On your author details page,
follow the “Get citation alerts” link, and list your saved alert, set an
email address, and select your preferred frequency of alerts. Once
you’re finished, save your alert.
With alerts set for all three of these services, you’ll now
be notified when your work is cited in virtually any publication in the
world! But citations only capture a very specific form of scholarly
impact. How do we learn about other uses of your articles?

Tracking article pageviews & downloads

How many people are reading your work? While you can’t be
certain that article pageviews and full-text downloads mean people are
reading your articles,  many scientists still find these measures to be a
good proxy. A number of services can send you this information via
email notifications for content hosted on their sites. Impactstory can
send you pageview and download information for some content hosted

Publisher notifications

Publishers like PeerJ and Frontiers send notification emails as a service to their authors.
If you’re a PeerJ author, you should receive notification
emails by default once your article is published. But if you want to
check if your notifications are enabled, sign into, and click
your name in the upper right hand corner. Select “Settings.” Choose
“Notification Settings” on the left nav bar, and then select the
“Summary” tab. You can then choose to receive daily or weekly summary
emails for articles you’re following.
In Frontiers journals, it works like this: once logged in,
click the arrow next to your name on the upper left-hand side and select
“Settings.” On the left-hand nav bar, choose “Messages,” and under the
“Other emails” section, check the box next to “Frontiers monthly impact
Both publishers aggregate activity for all of the
publications you’ve published with them, so no need to worry about
multiple emails crowding your inbox at once.
Not a PeerJ or Frontiers author? Contact your publisher to find out
if they offer notifications for metrics related to articles you’ve
published. If they do, let us know by leaving a comment below, and we’ll
update this guide!

ResearchGate &

Some places where you upload free-to-read versions of your papers, like ResearchGate and, will report how many people have viewed your paper on their site.
You can turn on email notifications for pageviews,
downloads, comments, bookmarks, and citations by other papers on
ResearchGate by visiting “Settings” (on both sites, click the triangle
in the upper right-hand corner of your screen). Then, click on the
“Notifications” tab in the sidebar menu, and check off the types of
emails you want to receive. On, the option to receive new
metrics notifications for pageviews, downloads, and bookmarks are under
“Analytics” and “Papers”; on Researchgate, it’s under “Your
publications” and “Scheduled updates”.

PLOS article metrics via Impactstory

Impactstory now offers alerts, so you’re notified any time
your articles get new metrics, including pageviews and downloads.
However, we currently only offer these metrics for articles published in
PLOS journals. (If you’d like to see us add similar notifications for
other publishers, submit an idea to our Feedback site!) We describe how to get Impactstory notifications for the articles that matter to you in the Social Media section below.

Post-publication peer review

Some articles garner comments as a form of post-publication
peer review. PeerJ authors are notified any time their articles get a
comment, and any work that’s uploaded to ResearchGate can be commented
upon, too. Reviews can also be tracked via alerts.


To make sure you’re notified with you receive new PeerJ
comments, login to PeerJ and go to “Settings” > “Notification
Settings”  and then click on the “Email” tab. There, check the box next
to “Someone posts feedback on an article I wrote.”


To set your ResearchGate notifications, login to the site and navigate to “Settings” > “Notifications.” Check the boxes next to “One of my publications is rated, bookmarked or commented on” and “Someone reviews my publication”.

Post-publication peer reviews from Publons and PubPeer are included in notification emails,
and will be included in Impactstory emails in the near future.
Instructions for signing up for Altmetric and Impactstory notifications
can be found below.


Article recommendation platform PubChase
can also be used to set up notifications for PubPeer comments and
reviews that your articles receive. To set it up, first add your
articles to your PubChase library (either by searching and adding papers
one-by-one, or by syncing PubChase with your Mendeley account).
Then, hover over the Account icon in the upper-right hand corner, and
select “My Account.” Click “Email Settings” on the left-hand navigation
bar, and then check the box next to “PubPeer comments” to get your

Social media metrics

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.

Social media metrics via allows you to track altmetrics and receive
notifications for any article that you have published, no matter the

First, install the browser bookmarklet (visit this page
and drag the “Altmetric It!” button into your browser menu bar). Then,
find your article on the publisher’s website and click the “Altmetric
it!” button. The altmetrics for your article will appear in the upper
right-hand side of your browser window, in a pop-up box similar to the
one at right.
Next, follow the “Click for more details” link in the
Altmetric pop-up. You’ll be taken to a drill-down view of the metrics.
At the bottom left-hand corner of the page, you can sign up to receive
notifications whenever someone mentions your article online.
The only drawback of these
notification emails is that you have to sign up to track each of your
articles individually, which can cause inbox mayhem if you are tracking
many publications.

Social media metrics via Impactstory

Here at Impactstory, we recently launched similar notification emails. Our emails differ in that they alert you to new social media metrics, bookmarks, and citations for all of your articles, aggregated into a single report.
To get started, create an Impactstory profile
and connect your profile to ORCID, Google Scholar, and other
third-party services. This will allow you to auto-import your articles.
If a few of your articles are missing, you can add them one by one by
clicking the “Import stuff” icon, clicking the “Import individual
products” link on the next page, and then providing links and DOIs. Once
your profile is set up, you’ll start to receive your notification
emails once every 1-2 weeks.
When you get your first email, take a look at your “cards”.
Each card highlights something unique about your new metrics for that
week or month: if you’re in a top percentile related to other papers
published that year or if your PLOS paper has topped 1000 views or
gotten new Mendeley readers. You’ll get a card for each type of new
metric one of your articles receives.
Note that Impactstory notification emails also contain
alerts for metrics that your other types of outputs–including data, code
and slide decks–receive, but we’ll cover that in more detail in our
next post.

Now you’ve got more time for the things that matter

No more wasting your days scouring 10+ websites for
evidence of your articles’ impact; it’s now delivered to your inbox, as
new impacts accumulate.
Do you have more types of research outputs, beyond journal
articles? In our next post, we’ll tell you how to set up similar
notifications to track the impact of your data, software, and more.

Updates to describe the revamped Impactstory interface and new notification options for ResearchGate and

5/27/2014: Added information about PubChase notification emails.

The ultimate guide to staying up-to-date on your articles’ impact - Impactstory blog

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