Impactstory and Depsy

Impactstory is a free subscription altmetric aggregator that requires an ORCID to register. Impactstory provides altmetrics for anything with a DOI. It gathers altmetric data from sources such as Twitter, Mendeley, GitHub, Dryad, Figshare, arXiv, and Slideshare.

Sample Impactstory profile
A sample Impactstory profile from the Overview tab

Depsy is a new tool created by Impactstory and incorporated into their profiles. Depsy aims to measure the impact of research software. It finds mentions of software used in research articles even when the software itself is not formally cited. It tracks the reuse of GitHub repositories, and assigns fractional credit to multiple authors based on contributions to the software’s development. Depsy does not offer subscriptions or accounts; rather, it is a site scholars can search for their software. It is freely available for research software contributors to search their packages or personal names.

sample depsy page
A sample page from Depsy


  • No one altmetric source is comprehensive. Impactstory does not track every publication, and it does not track every source where a publication might be mentioned. Furthermore, due to the data harvesting techniques used, sometimes mentions are missed.
  • Impactstory uses data for some of its measures; therefore, limitations that apply to data also apply to some Impactstory data. Impactstory provides information on the data sources included in Impactstory profiles.
  • Depsy is a new tool, and its development is incomplete. Depsy currently underestimates the number of informal citations a software receives. Furthermore, it does not track formal citations for articles written about the software, which is the traditional means for software citation. Depsy’s measures of software contribution are imprecise and it only tracks a subset of software packages. A draft paper, authored by Depsy’s creators, has more information about its limitations.