Engineering faculty members are increasingly looking at the pros and cons of the number of research communication tools that are available but are overwhelmed by the variety and lack of evidence that the tools will have a positive influence on research impact, promotion, and tenure. Engineering faculty are drawn to altmetrics for a more complete picture of real world impact while simultaneously dubious of the validity of these emerging measures. This paper reviews the literature on altmetric tools, identifies the existing tools, as well as pros and cons of using those tools. The author investigates how the tools can be used to create an outreach service for faculty members in engineering that supports early career faculty to strategically design an online presence for research impact.
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