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Institutional Repository (Digital Scholarship@UNLV)

Measure Impact with DS@UNLV

Digital Scholarship@UNLV is UNLV's open access institutional repository. Depositing your work in Digital Scholarship@UNLV will allow others online and around the world to view, download, read, and build upon your scholarly and creative activities. 

Sharing your work openly makes it more accessible to not only the general public, but others in your field. This is important for building upon past research as researchers, scholars, and creators continue to advance and grow their fields of research. Digital Scholarship@UNLV openly shares the work of UNLV's faculty, staff, and students.

On this page, you'll find more information about how to show the impact of your work that is in Digital Scholarship@UNLV. If you have any questions, would like one-on-one help, or help obtaining information about your works' impact, please reach out to Christina Miskey, Research Impact Librarian, at

Why does impact matter?

Research impact matters because it can help you to:Quote from Charlie Rapple: "Impact is important because it helps keep us focused on the overall purpose, rather than the process, of research."

  • Obtain a new position, or earn tenure and promotion
  • Broaden your network and find future collaborators for research
  • Improve your chances for citations
  • Strengthen grant funding applications
  • Create a national and international reputation for your expertise and research

Taking steps to broaden the reach of your research can help to improve your scholarly reputation, raise the profile of your department and college/school, and increase the national reputation of your institution.

Author Dashboard & Readership Report

Digital Scholarship@UNLV provides contributors of full-text content with monthly reports on the use of their works.

Each month, contributors will receive a Readership Report via email with links to access your Author Dashboard and a summary of downloads for all of your works in Digital Scholarship@UNLV. 

The Author Dashboard provides information about usage for all full-text works that are in the repository. You can see information such as how many downloads (by geographical location and by institution), as well as online usage through the PlumX Snapshot. 

In order to fully take advantage of this information, you need to have full-text items in the repository. Find out more about how to deposit full-text items into Digital Scholarship@UNLV.

example of a readership report email

Use Altmetrics to Measure Online Impact

Altmetrics is used to refer to "alternative metrics" and are generally article level metrics. Altmetrics attempts to fill a gap in more traditional metrics by using a wider range of sources, such as social media, news outlets, blog posts, and citation managers, in addition to citation and download counts to determine the impact (or "attention") of scholarship.

Digital Scholarship@UNLV uses altmetrics to help authors measure the online impact of their open access full-text scholarly and creative works that have been added to the repository. UNLV's repository does this through the PlumX Snapshot on your Author Dashboard, and the Altmetric Donut that is shown on each item's page.

The Altmetric Donut is displayed on each full-text item page in Digital Scholarship@UNLV. The donut uses colors to represent sources of online usage and interaction with a particular item, and the number inside the donut represents a weighted attention score based on the amount of usage across all online sources. The below image shows a breakdown of what each color of the donut means. You can also view an example of how the Altmetric Donut appears on an item page.

The altmetric donut and a breakdown of what each color of the donut represents

The PlumX Snapshot is available both on an item's individual page, as well as on your Author Dashboard. Similar to the Altmetric Donut, the PlumX badge measure usage of a publication online using various sources, and then calculates a score based on the amount of usage online overall. Below, there is an image that breaks down the sources that PlumX uses. You can also see an example of how the PlumX badge appears on an individual item's page.

A breakdown of the PlumX Snapshot sources

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