Sources of Attention

Mainstream Media Outlets

Altmetric collects online mentions of scholarly papers from reports published in mainstream news outlets and magazines. We do this by tracking a manually-curated list of RSS feeds from news websites. We add each news source individually, and also try to get cover outlets in non-English-speaking countries. Specifically, we use 2 methods to pick up mentions of papers in the news:

  • Link recognition: Searching for a direct hyperlink to a scholarly paper in the content of a news report.
  • News Tracker mechanism: Searching the news report’s text (English only) for mentions of the scholarly paper, journal, and author(s).

Check the bottom of this page for a list of news sources that we currently track.

Activity Medium: ~17,000 news reports mention individual academic research outputs each week
Level of Insight High: Summaries of papers for a general audience
Content Creators Communicators: Journalists
Collection Time Medium: Majority of articles are collected in < 6 hours

Our newstracker pulls in the content from all of the news outlets we track and looks for links to content published in journals or on other academic platforms to match the original article to the research it’s discussing. This is the most reliable and consistent way that we can pick up news mentions of research, but because news stories don’t always contain links directly to a publication or research output, we’ve also developed our own text mining technology to help us pick up others too.

The text mining system picks up important bits of information like the journal title and article author name, performs a specific literature search on CrossRef (in a time window up to -45 and +45 days prior to the news report’s publication), and then accurately matches journal articles with their respective news reports.



If an article has not been deposited on CrossRef within the time window used by the News Tracker, we won’t be able to find a match. (However, these articles will still be picked up if hyperlinks are provided.).

Our text-mining technology only works in the English language. As such, we are only able to pick up paper mentions in non-English news sources through direct links to papers.


News sources we track