Impact Challenge Day 30: Create a comprehensive impact profile at

Yesterday, we covered all the ways that you can dig up evidence of your impacts online. You learned that metrics for your research exist across more than 18 platforms all around the Web. That’s a lot of data to manage.

What you need now is a single place to view your metrics (and the underlying qualitative data). You also need a way to share your metrics with others. That’s where Impactstory comes in.

Impactstory is a non-profit webapp that compiles data from across the Web on how often (and by whom) your research is being shared, saved, discussed, cited and more.

We automate much of the work of collecting impact metrics, so you don’t have to. And we provide rich, contextualized, Open metrics alongside the underlying data, so you can learn a lot in one place (and reuse most of the metrics however you want).

In today’s challenge, you’ll explore creating a comprehensive impact profile on Let’s get started!

Step 1. Explore an Impactstory profile

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One of our favorite Impactstory profiles belongs to genomics researcher Holly Bik. Her profile epitomizes all of the cool things you can do on Impactstory:

  • Discover metrics for your work from scholarly and popular social media
  • Import all of your papers, datasets, software, slide decks, and other scholarly products into a single profile
  • Highlight the scholarship and metrics you’re most proud of in your “Selected Works” and “Key Metrics” sections of your profile homepage
  • Learn who’s talking about your work and what they’re saying by drilling down into the metrics and underlying data
  • Connect your account to third-party services like Figshare, ORCID, and GitHub to get automatic updates & import your new research

Go ahead and poke around a bit on Holly’s profile. Take 5 minutes or so to explore. Go ahead, we’ll wait here.

Not everyone’s profile will look like Holly’s, to be sure. But no matter your career stage, chances are that an Impactstory profile will give you a lot of insight as to your many research impacts.

Step 2. Sign up for Impactstory

Now let’s get you set up with a free Impactstory trial.

You might have heard: we’re a subscription-based service ($60/year or $10/month). But we’re not going to make a hard pitch for you to subscribe.

Instead, you’re going to sign up for a free, 30 day trial, during which you’ll get a better chance to decide if Impactstory is right for you (and worth paying for*). Here’s how:

That’s it! Easy, huh?

Next, let’s walk through the simple steps it takes to get your scholarship onto Impactstory.

* We also offer fee waivers for anyone who can’t afford a subscription.

Step 3. Automate your Impactstory profile

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You’re now on the “Master Import Controls” page.

Next, you’ll be prompted to connect your accounts from across the Web. This will allow you to batch import many of your publications, software, data, and other scholarship that’s hosted elsewhere. And, once connected, we’ll automatically import your new scholarship, as it’s created.

As of this writing, you can connect Figshare, ORCID, GitHub, Publons, Slideshare, and Twitter for auto-importing of data and scholarship. You can also add a link to your Google Scholar profile and import those publications all at once using BibTeX.

We’ll use Figshare as an example for how to connect your Impactstory account to other services. To get started:

  • Click on the tile for the service you want to connect (in this case, Figshare)
  • Open a new browser window and get your Figshare author page URL (login to Figshare, click on your name and photo in the upper-right hand corner, click “My profile,” and then copy the URL that appears in your browser’s address bar.)
  • Switch back to the Impactstory browser window. In the Figshare pop-up, paste your Figshare author page URL into the box under “figshare author page URL”
  • Click the green “Connect to Figshare” button
  • You’re now connected!

Impactstory will then auto-import all of your public Figshare products and their metrics, and also update your Impactstory profile weekly with any new Figshare products and metrics.

The instructions above work for ORCID, GitHub, Publons, Slideshare, and Twitter, too. Just login to that appropriate web service to get your URL, username, or ORCID ID, and click the appropriate tile on Impactstory “Master import controls” page to insert the URL.

Step 4. Import your other scholarship to Impactstory

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It’s possible that you’ve got scholarly products squirreled away in places we can’t automatically import from. Maybe you’ve contributed to a GitHub repository that you don’t own, have a standalone website devoted to a research project, or have a video abstract for one of your articles.

No matter what you want to add to your profile as an individual product, here’s how to do it.

From the Main Import Controls page:

  • Click the “Add products individually by ID” link
  • On the next page, paste the identifier(s) for the product(s) you want to track. If you are adding more than one individual product at a time, be sure to add only one identifier per line.
  • Once you’ve added the identifiers for all the products you want to track, click the blue “Import” button. The products will be added to your profile.

Step 5. Step back and admire your profile so far

Now you’ve got all your scholarly products on Impactstory. Let’s take a look at how they look on the genre pages.

From your main profile page, click on the links in the left-hand navigation bar that correspond with the scholarly genre you want to explore.

For example, if you’ve got articles on your profile, go ahead and click on the “articles” link. Here’s what Holly Bik’s Articles page looks like:

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 You can hover over any of the blue or green badges to see the underlying data that document your scholarly and public impacts:

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 Or you can click on any title to see an in-depth description of the article and a summary of metrics. We auto-import as much information as possible, including your full citation and your abstract:

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 Click on the “Full-text” icon to see an embedded version of your paper (and you can add a link to the full-text, Open Access version of your paper, if we didn’t auto-import it for you–more on that below).

Click on the “Metrics” icon to see a drill-down view of your paper’s metrics, along with important context that we provide in percentiles:

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 And you can click through any of the specific metrics to go to the data provider website, where you can explore the underlying data:

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 Back on your profile, you can also click the “Map” icon to learn about where in the world your paper has been bookmarked on Mendeley, tweeted about, or viewed on

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 Hovering over any country gives you more information about the impacts that have happened in that country; you can also drill down into each country’s activity using the handy table at the lower-left of the page.

Step 6. Add links to your open access work

Now that you’ve seen all the ways your Open Access work is being reused online, let’s get more of your OA work onto your Impactstory profile.

For any article, dataset, or other scholarly product that’s not already embedded in your Impactstory profile:

  • Go to the main item page
  • Click on the “Full-text” icon
  • You’ll see an option to “Share your article” by uploading a full-text copy of your work or providing a URL.
  • Upload your article or provide your URL, and you’re done!

Step 7. Pretty up your profile

Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on your entire profile.

On your main profile page, add a short bio and a photo of yourself.

On your product pages for your most important research, add keywords and abstracts that’ll help others find your work more easily.

To add the bio, keywords, and abstract, just click on the field you want to edit, type in what you want to add, and then click the blue checkmark icon to save it to your profile.

That’s it! You now have a beautiful, complete Impactstory profile! Congrats!

Step 8. Dig into your metrics & notification emails

Now that your profile is complete, you’ll have 30 days’ worth of free trial to discover new metrics that your work has received.

Impactstory updates your profile with new metrics (and imports new products) on a weekly basis. Any new metrics will appear on your badges like so: Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 9.23.11 PM.png.

We also will send you notification emails on a weekly basis that highlight your top 10 “greatest hits” metrics for the week.

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 Your notification emails will usually include milestone metrics (“You’ve just passed 2,000 views on your Slideshare slides!”) and sometimes it will include incremental metrics for your less popular research materials (“You got 1 Figshare view for your 2001 dataset, ‘Datum Obscurus.’ That brings your total views up to 7.”)

These notifications include contextual information, such as your total number of metrics to date for that item, and what percentile your item’s in, relative to other research products created in the same year or published in the same discipline.

If you’d rather receive your Notification emails more frequently, less frequently, or not at all, you can change your settings at

Step 9. Share your success far and wide

Now that you’ve got your Open impact data, how will you use it?

Well, some researchers use altmetrics to document their impact for grant applications and tenure. We’ve also heard of scientists using them for promotion and annual reviews. Consider whether these scenarios would work for you. The latter scenario in particular is a great way to test the water, to see if your supervisors and colleagues are amenable to altmetrics.

You can also share altmetrics-inspired warm and fuzzies with your collaborators. Email your co-authors with a link to your articles on Impactstory, so they can check out the data for themselves. It’s a great feeling when you see in black and white the effect your work’s having on others. Share it! 🙂

We also suggest putting a link to your Impactstory profile on your website or blog, and in your email signature. All super-effective ways to quickly share both your research and your impact with your colleagues.

When sharing your Impactstory data and profile, keep in mind that numbers are only one useful part of the data. You can print out your impact map and include it in an annual review; quote from open peer reviews that praise the quality of your research in your tenure dossier; and learn who’s sharing your work so you can connect with them via social media.

But ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what uses will be the best for you, depending upon your academic environment. Once you decide, let us know! We love to hear how scientists are using their Impactstory profiles.


Many popular data providers including Google Scholar,, and ResearchGate won’t share their data with us (or anyone else) via Open API. So, we unfortunately can’t import metrics from those profiles to your Impactstory account.

It’s also hard for us (and all other altmetrics aggregators) to track scholarly products by URL alone. There simply aren’t great data sources for doing that ever since Topsy got bought out by Apple. We’re continuing to look for ways to get you this data. But in the meantime, we encourage you to mint DOIs for your work, so we can track it.


Now that you’ve got an Impactstory profile, make it awesome! Fill in the gaps in your publication history, add your most impactful work, connect your accounts, and so on. At the very least, information for all of your most important research products should be in your profile.

For your five most important products, add links to the Open Access versions of those works, if they’re available and you have the rights to post them. (If you remember, publishers’ restrictions might prohibit you from posting certain versions of your articles online.)

Once everything’s imported, it’s time to clean up your profile data. We import and clean up a lot of dirty and duplicate data for you, but some things might fall through the cracks. Here’s what to look for:

  • Mislabeled products: add missing descriptive information (journal names, authors, abstracts, and keywords that can help others find your work). It’s as easy as clicking in the area that needs to be updated, adding the info, and then clicking the blue checkmark button to save it.

  • Duplicate products: choose which version you’d like to delete, tick the box next to it, and click the trashcan icon at the top of your profile to get rid of it.

  • Miscategorized products: sometimes, products will end up in the Webpages genre or in other inappropriate places on your profile, due to incomplete descriptive information. To move a product from one genre page to another, check the box next to the item(s) to be moved, then click the “Move” folder icon at the top of your profile, select the appropriate genre from the drop-down menu, and you’re done!

Your final, enjoyable task is to now dig into the data that your Impactstory profile provides. Find unexpected mentions or reuse of your work online. Think about how you might use that data in a professional context. And give yourself a big pat on the back for completing the final Impact Challenge.



You’ve successfully made it through all 30 days of the Impact Challenge! We’re proud of you!

You’re now an Open, web-savvy scientist who’s made valuable connections online and in real life. You’re sharing more of your work than you were before, and have found many new ways to get your work to those who are interested. And you’re able to track the success of your efforts, and the real-time impact of your scholarship.

We’ve had a lot of fun writing these Impact Challenges and talking with all of you who’ve participated. Thanks for joining in! And feel free to reach out if you’ve got ideas for future Impact Challenges.


If you’ve accomplished all 30 Impact Challenges, we’ve got a gift for you and all other FINISHERs!


 The full rules for claiming your shirt can be found here.

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