The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are targets for global development adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Comprised of 17 interconnected goals, they are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of people everywhere.

The SDG data is provided to Altmetric by Dimensions, who have implemented automatic classification of publications by aligning them to the goals using supervised machine learning based on extensive training sets and curated keyword searches. While this process is constantly being improved, it is still not perfect! Keep in mind that not all publications are classified with an SDG. Visit Digital Science’s SDG classification page to learn more. 

Getting started is easy

Step-by-step guide

First, click the blue edit search button at the top of the screen in Explorer to access your advanced search. You’ll see Sustainable Development Goals as a search filter option.

Please note that the location of this filter may be in a slightly different location in your advanced search interface than the image below. The location depends on your organization’s subscription..

Now, you can search for a specific SDG by name or by number.  For example, if you type in water, you’ll  see the two SDGs with water in the title. Or you can search by an SDG’s number. You can search for more than one SDG at a time and they will be ‘ORed’ together in your search. Click run search to view your results.

a selection menu with an arrow pointing to a dropdown menu and a circle around a button

Now you can see that there are over 51,000 outputs with attention that are classified with these two SDGs. If you navigate to the Research Outputs tab, and view the results as a list, you’ll see the SDG information on the right side of the screen.

a menu and a selection menu - a circle around a menu bar option, a circle around a results list icon, an arrow pointing towards a selection menu option

Going back to the advanced search, you can try combining this filter with other search filters as well. For example, you can limit by publication date, search by journal title, or search for a specific company or institution, such as Harvard University. If you run the search pictured in the image below, you can view over 220 outputs from Harvard University classified with these two SDGs and explore the attention they are receiving online.

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If you have any questions about how to use this feature in Altmetric Explorer, please contact our support team.

Many of you will be familiar with the annual Altmetric Top 100. Launched in 2013, this list highlighted the most-mentioned scholarly publications from the year, and featured much-discussed topical research that had caught the wider public’s imagination. 

Since its launch, the Top 100 has demonstrated the influence and reach that it is possible for research to have – and through our data we have shown that communicating beyond the academy is critical to the broader dissemination and application of academic study. 

Given the evolving landscape of research communication and analyses, we have decided it’s time to refresh our annual review of society’s engagement with research. Instead of continuing to produce a typical ‘Top 100’, in future years we will focus our analyses on the unique opportunities our data offers: identifying emerging trends, highlighting examples of great engagement, and encouraging researchers to communicate their research and its outcomes as effectively as possible. 

As a result of this change we did not produce an official Top 100 for 2021. 

As a final farewell to the original lists, Altmetric’s Head of Data Insights, Mike Taylor, shared a series of blog posts that each took a different approach to compiling a ‘top 100’ – and analyzed the data to draw out the key considerations of each approach. 

We recently held a webinar with Mike to talk through the three different approaches in a bit more detail. 

During the session, Mike looked at the similarities and differences between the different sets of data that the calculations returned and considered the pros and cons of each approach. 

We even asked our audience which approach they preferred! 

Watch some key clips from the session here