LSE blog post tips on getting more out of Altmetric

Posted by Misha Kidambi on 6th June 2023

Altmetric attention scores have become synonymous with the multi-colored donut. Developed to provide a holistic, 360-degree understanding of research impact, Altmetric provides data that goes beyond traditional citation-based bibliometrics. The article “Beyond the Doughnut: Five Ways to Use Altmetrics for Academic Success,” from the London School of Economics Impact Blog, gives insights on how one can leverage the potential of altmetric scores even further and use altmetrics in assessing the impact of academic research. 

Author, Andy Tattersall, lays out five strategies for employing altmetrics to achieve academic success and highlights the role of Altmetric, as a prominent altmetrics provider, in facilitating these practices. “The score remains a useful indicator in that if your work has a high score, it shows the research is being discussed and shared. Potentially this coverage could extend across a range of platforms, including media and policy,” he writes.

Included in the strategies to leverage altmetrics are finding niche blogs that continue to be used to disseminate and communicate research ideas, results, and more. “I have used data to see which research is being discussed and communicated on which blogs,” writes Tattersall. Other strategies include using the Altmetric score to understand if, how, and where research is being shared (also read the Altmetric blog post Share of Scientific Voice- understanding how your research is reaching a real-world audience for more insights on this) and providing the right incentives to make research shareable.

Perhaps less explored, but another compelling use of altmetrics is finding experts in niche subject areas. Altmetric blog piece The rise of the Digital Opinion Leader provides more details about this facet. Tattersall writes, “I used to see which speakers on a rather niche topic had received some form of altmetric coverage…By using these features, I could quickly explore their activities and find out whose research had broken outside the academic bubble.”

And last but not least, Tattersall points out how altmetrics can be used for Discovering potential pathways to impact. “…we can start exploring further how research is cited in policy and clinical guidance,” he writes (also read the Altmetric blog post How Altmetric has increased policy track in 2022 to understand how Altmetric is constantly strengthening its policy database).

Further reading: Understanding the Altmetrics score and your research