2017 saw an explosive growth in the number of researchers investigating Altmetric’s data, with some pretty cool results! Thanks to the 30+ publications, presentations, and theses/dissertations that researchers have released, we’ve learned (among many other things) that:
- The percentage of research discussed online doubled between 2011 and 2015;
- For ornithology research, higher Altmetric Attention Scores are correlated with a 112% increase in citation rate; and
- In chemistry, publishing Open Access leads to more online attention for female authors
Here are some of the many Open Access* research outputs resulting from studies published on our data this year.
“Measuring social media activity of scientific literature: an exhaustive comparison of scopus and novel altmetrics big data” by Hassan et al
This study found that online attention for research nearly doubled between 2011 and 2015 (from ~11% coverage to ~20% coverage of research indexed in Scopus). Health-related research, in particular, saw large bump–a 39% increase in blog coverage. The researchers also found a correlation between highly cited publications and total altmetrics for articles studied.
“Tweeting birds: online mentions predict future citations in ornithology” by Finch, O’Hanlon & Dudley
From the abstract: “Here, we explore variation in the Altmetric Attention Score of 2677 research articles published in 10 ornithological journals between 2012 and 2016. On average, AAS increased sevenfold in just five years, primarily due to increased activity on Twitter which contributed 75% of the total score. For a subset of 878 articles published in 2014…an increase in AAS from 1 to 20 resulted in a predicted 112% increase in citation count from 2.6 to 5.5 citations per article…Our results suggest that altmetrics (or the online activity they measure), as well as complementing traditional measures of scholarly impact in ornithology such as citations, may also anticipate or even drive them.”
“Altmetrics: Broadening Impact or Amplifying Voices?” by Sugimoto & Larivière
This exploratory paper (co-authored by Altmetric Advisory Board member Cassidy Sugimoto) suggests that it’s young female academics working in chemistry who stand to benefit the most from publishing Open Access: “Across all the OA journals, the female advantage is stronger with first- rather than last-authored positions, suggesting that these venues provide particular visibility for younger female academics on social media.”
“What makes papers visible on social media? An analysis of various document characteristics” by Zahedi et al
This STI 2017 conference paper seeks to understand if certain features of research are correlated with increased citations and engagement. The authors found some interesting themes: Mendeley readership is correlated with the number of references in a paper; blog coverage was generally low (2.28%), but news items and review articles were covered the most; and mainstream media coverage was highest for review articles, but still negligible–only 1.67% of review articles received that type of attention.
“Identifying scholars on Twitter: opening the path to the social media studies of science” by Costas, van Honk & Franssen
This presentation from the 4th Annual Altmetrics Conference (4:AM) introduces an innovative new approach to identifying the demographics for those tweeting about research, with a reported 94% accuracy level. Techniques used included matching Twitter name and location data to parts of institutional email addresses, self-identified organization name, and matching based on institutional country.
There were many more great studies done with our data–and not enough space here to recap them all! Here are the other OA studies we know about:
- Context of altmetrics data matters: an investigation of count type and user category
- Preprinting Microbiology
- Supplementing Traditional Ways of Measuring Scholarly Impact: The Altmetrics Way
- Scholarly Research Articles Published from Anna University, Tamil Nadu during 2011-2016: An Altmetrics Evaluation
- The Altmetrics of Retracted Articles in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
- What can altmetrics tell us about interest in dental clinical trials?
- The unbearable emptiness of tweeting—About journal articles
- Is What’s “Trending” What’s Worth Purchasing? Insights from a National Study of Collection Development Librarians
- Measuring the social impact of dental research: An insight into the most influential articles on the Web
- Case study on open access journals in Economics and Business Studies and their engagement on the Web
- Scientific birds of a feather flock together: science communication on social media rarely happens across or beyond disciplinary boundaries
- Predicting Research that will be Cited in Policy Documents
- Highly tweeted science articles: who tweets them? An analysis of Twitter user profile descriptions
- Factors associated with online media attention to research: a cohort study of articles evaluating cancer treatments
- Evolution of Wikipedia’s medical content: past, present and future
- Internationality in Finnish research: an examination of collaborators, citers, tweeters, and readers
- Do altmetrics capture societal engagement?
- Exploring the descriptive power of altmetrics: case study of Africa, USA, and EU28 countries (2012-2014)
- Online distribution channel increases article usage on Mendeley: a randomized controlled trial
- How many scientific papers are mentioned in policy-related documents? An empirical investigation using Web of Science and Altmetric data
- Exploring Features for Predicting Policy Citations
Other altmetrics research we liked this year
- Scholarly use of social media and altmetrics: A review of the literature
- Measuring field-normalized impact of papers on specific societal groups: An altmetrics study based on Mendeley Data
- How to make altmetrics useful in societal impact assessments: shifting from citation to interaction approaches
- Does evaluative scientometrics lose its main focus on scientific quality by the new orientation towards societal impact?
Want to do your own research on Altmetric’s data?
We now offer access to our data in three ways: access via Altmetric Explorer, access via our commercial API, and access (with completed data use agreement) to a very large, rich, machine-readable JSON file containing 8+ million records.
If you’d like to do research on our data, we’d love to hear from you–please do get in touch!
* This year, we’ve decided only to feature Open Access research in our year-end round-up. The reasons for this are twofold: a) We want to encourage researchers to make their work OA, and, importantly, b) We can’t recommend any research we’re not able to read, due to paywalls!