What Does Altmetric Do?

Discover what do we do and how.

Our products

Altmetric Explorer

A powerful and intuitive web application that helps you see all of the attention surrounding your papers.

Altmetric Bookmarklet

A simple browser tool that lets you instantly get article level metrics for any recent paper, for free.

Altmetric API

An application programming interface that enables you to enrich your pages with article level metrics data.

Altmetric Badges

Ready-to-use embeddable badges for your article pages that let you showcase impact in a beautiful way.

What we do

Researchers care about what people are saying about their work. Increasingly they need to show the impact of their papers, books and datasets are having beyond just citations.

We've created and maintain a cluster of servers that watch social media sites, newspapers, government policy documents and other sources for mentions of scholarly articles. We bring all the attention together to compile article level metrics.

We work with publishers, funders and institutions to present data & metrics to end users, as well as offering a free bookmarklet for researchers to use directly.

9,772,230 mentions captured
1,258,087 disambiguated articles
1,932,171 user profiles
Altmetric database contents, May 2013

We sell access to three products:

  • The Explorer, which allows you to see the metrics for all of the papers in our database, perform competitive analysis, produce reports etc.
  • Embeddable badges, which are a quick, cost effective way of adding article level metrics to a journal platform or application...
  • ... and the Altmetric API, which gives you more power and flexibility over how metrics are displayed.

We track approximately five thousand papers a day, with one mention seen on average every seven seconds. We have broad coverage and are getting better every month - we can track articles from hundreds of different publishers, preprint databases and institutional repositories. If somebody has recently tweeted, blogged or posted a public link to your paper then it's very likely that we know about it.

How we measure attention

The Altmetric score is our quantitative measure of the attention that a scholarly article has received. It is derived from 3 main factors:

Volume Sources Authors

The score for an article rises as more people mention it.
We only count 1 mention from each person per source, so if you tweet about the same paper more than once, Altmetric will ignore everything but the first.

Each category of mention contributes a different base amount to the final score.
For example, a newspaper article contributes more than a blog post which contributes more than a tweet.

We look at how often the author of each mention talks about scholarly articles, at whether or not there's any bias towards a particular journal or publisher and at who the audience is.
For example, a doctor sharing a link with other doctors counts for far more than a journal account pushing the same link out automatically.

Articles for which we have no mentions are scored 0. Though the rate at which scientists are using social media in a professional context is growing rapidly, most articles will score 0; the exact proportion varies from journal to journal, but a mid-tier publication might expect 30 - 40% of the papers that it publishes to be mentioned at least once, with the rate dropping rapidly for smaller, niche publications.

The score has an important limitation: if the article was published before July 2011, we'll have missed any transient mentions of it, tweets in particular. As such, its score won't be accurate, and will represent a lower bound of the attention received.

More about the Altmetric donuts

The Altmetric Explorer and some embeddable badges use small donut shaped visualisations to quickly convey information about each article.

The number in the centre of the donut is the Altmetric score, as described above. The colours surrounding the donut reflect the mix of sources mentioning that score - blue for Twitter, yellow for blogs, red for mainstream media sources and so on.