The donut and Altmetric Attention Score

Find out more about the at-a-glance indicator of the volume and type of attention a research output has received.

an Altmetric donut

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, and to see the original mentions and references that have contributed to the attention score.

the Altmetric donut

Colors of the donut

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

two lists of resources in columns and an Altmetric donut

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

Altmetric donut with the number 252 in the middle

This output has received a lot of mainstream media coverage 

Altmetric donut with the number 37 in the middle

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

Altmetric donut with the number 115 in the middle

This research has received a lot of attention on Twitter and has 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:

The score for an article rises as more people mention it. We only count one 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, whether or not there's any bias towards a particular journal or publisher, and who the audience is.

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 that 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.

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