The donut and Altmetric Attention Score

An at-a-glance indicator of the volume and type of attention a research output has received

Instantly recognizable and easy to decipher

The Altmetric Attention Score and donut are designed to help you easily identify how much and what type of attention a research output has received. You might come across them on publisher article metrics pages, institutional repositories, or even individual researcher or lab publications pages.

You can always click on the donut to visit the details page for the research output, to see the original mentions and references that have contributed to the attention score.

Colors of the donut

The colors of the Altmetric donut each represent a different source of attention:

The amount of each color in the donut will change depending on which sources a research output has received attention from:


This output has received a lot of mainstream media coverage (click on the donut to see which outlets it came from)


This research has received most of its attention from blogs, and has been referenced in public policy documents.


This research has received a lot of attention on twitter, and also been reviewed on a
post-publication peer-review forum. 

The Altmetric Attention Score

The Altmetric Attention Score is an automatically calculated, weighted count of all of the attention a research output has received. It is based on 3 main factors:


Combined, the attention score represents a weighted approximation of all the attention we’ve picked up for a research output (not a raw total of the number of mentions). You can find more detail about how it’s calculated, including the standard weightings for each mention type, here.

The attention score is useful when looking at several outputs together to quickly identify the level of online activity surrounding a particular research output – it is not a measure of the quality of the research, or the researcher.

We’d always encourage users to click on the donut to view the details page, and all of the original mentions – remember, attention can be both positive and negative!

From time to time you might notice that the Altmetric Attention Score for your paper fluctuates, or goes down. This can happen when the original author of the mentions deletes their post when we remove posts which have been flagged as spam, or occasionally when we add new sources so need to re-weight our scoring algorithm.

It’s also important to note that Mendeley readers, Dimensions citation counts and CiteULike bookmarks do not count towards the score – this is because we can’t show you the full details of who is actually making the mention or reference. It’s our policy that any mentions that count towards the score must be completely transparent and fully visible on the Altmetric details page.