Altmetric Blog

Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories

Euan Adie, 22nd January 2013

We get asked a lot about the use of Altmetric data by academic libraries and institutional repositories so I figured it was worth outlining the services we offer and extending an invite to have a chat to anybody else who is curious – we’re always happy to hear your thoughts on altmetrics in general and to give talks or demos. You can reach me directly at [email protected].

(for an overview of the potential uses of alt-metrics by libraries that includes reviews of other tools check out Stacey Konkiel’s awesome Altmetrics: An App Review slides or view the video of her talk here)

Explorer access – free for individual librarians, paid site licenses for researchers

homepage_for_analysts If you’re a librarian at an academic institution we’d love for you to sign up for a free librarian account for the Altmetric Explorer, our analysis and discovery tool. Poke around, check out the data, set up some reports, use it to help patrons… and keep it for as long as you like.

Just drop us a line at [email protected] using your institutional email address and we’ll get you set up with a login and a quick demo, if desired.

If you think access would be useful to your researchers or students too ping us about sorting out a paid site license which’ll enable us to keep developing the service.

(note that if you’re not a librarian you can still use our free bookmarklet)

Integration with Ex Libris’ Primo

ex_libris_primoLast month Ex Libris added a free Altmetric tab plugin to EL Commons. Anybody can download and install it at which point their users will be able to see scores and mentions for any articles matched in the system via a new “metrics” tab on the item details page. Clicking through on the donut brings you to a page with more information.

Check it out, we’d love to hear your feedback.

By default your users will see three mentions of each type when they click through to see more details but if you drop us a line (or tweet us at @altmetric) letting us know when you’ve got something in production we’ll activate the rest too.

On a tangent it has been great to interact with Ex Libris. They’ve done a lot of interesting things with usage data already and product manager Christine Stohn has been plugged into the altmetrics community from the start.

Free institutional repository support

homepage_for_publishersIt’s free to use our badges or API (the latter with some third party licensing related limitations) on institutional repositories as long as they’re open to the public. You’ll be using the same back-end system as Nature Publishing Group, Cambridge University Press and BioMed Central amongst others, so it’s fast, scalable and well supported.

Here’s an example of the kind of data we collect about articles.

We think adding Altmetric to repositories is a pretty cool proposition. Authors who upload their papers to the repository get a unified view of how much attention their work has been getting (the Altmetric data reflects the published version as well as the deposited one) as well as links out to the conversations about their work; combine the badges with a couple of API calls and you can show which papers from your institution have been in the media recently or are proving particularly popular online.

There are few limitations you’ll need to bear in mind:

  • You’ll need to tell us your domain e.g. before we can start tracking links to your repository. Otherwise the badges will still work, they’ll just only reflect attention paid to the published versions of items.
  • Right now we can only track items with a DOI, handle or other recognized scholarly identifier (SSRN, arXiv, RePEc and PubMed IDs are all OK too). Though we’re looking at supporting items identified by URL alone this is a little while off.
  • We started collecting data in July 2011 and coverage of papers published before that date isn’t great, so be prepared to only really see results on more recent material.
  • We can’t offer citation counts: as much as we’d like to unfortunately if you want to include this data you need to negotiate with Scopus and/or Web of Science separately, we aren’t able to do this on your behalf.

To get started check out the documentation at Let us know when you’ve got something working; we’re happy to add custom messages or branding to the metrics details pages or give you advice on how to best use the API.

20 Responses to “Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories”

[...] Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories [...]

[...] free for libraries and institutional repositories, I’d recommend taking another look at Euan’s blog post on the subject if you’re looking to get altmetrics up and running for your [...]

[...] Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories | [...]

[...] Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories | [...]

[…] 2013 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, where she spoke to attendees about Altmetric’s free services for libraries and institutional repositories (IRs). The main message we delivered was this: if you’d like Altmetric to track the […]

September 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

“@altmetric: We love university libraries and institutional repositories. we're offering free Altmetric services”

September 10, 2013 at 12:00 am

Actual article that talks about how you get a free Altmetrics Explorer demo account

[…] thrilled by the response to our free services for librarians and institutional repositories, which we detailed on our blog back in February. There was a lot of interest from librarians, who were keen to get free librarian […]

January 20, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetrics propose 1 accès gratuit à son ouil d'analyse, Almetrics Explorer, pour les bibliothécaires - qqn a testé ?

January 22, 2014 at 12:00 am

@St_B sais pas, faut demander

Altmetric (@altmetric)
February 21, 2014 at 12:00 am

Interested in adding @altmetric badges to your IR? Find out more here: #lcwebinar #altmetrics

Jean Liu (@portablebrain)
March 4, 2014 at 12:00 am

@calloni Yep! We do need to know the repo's domain tho (see Can you email [email protected] to discuss further?

[…] tutustumista: Altmetrics: a manifesto. Glasgown yliopiston arkisto ja altmetriikan hyödyntäminen, Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories –blogikirjoitus. Keskustelussa nousi eteen mahdollinen hyödyntäminen CRIS-sovelluksissa. Hyödyntämisessä […]

[…] tutustumista: Altmetrics: a manifesto.Glasgown yliopiston arkisto ja altmetriikan hyödyntäminen, Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories –blogikirjoitus. Keskustelussa nousi eteen mahdollinen hyödyntäminen CRIS-sovelluksissa. Hyödyntämisessä […]

[…] can get free access to the Altmetric Explorer and free services for institutional repositories. You can also request trial access to Altmetric for […]

June 27, 2014 at 12:00 am

Hey institutional #digital #repository managers: @altmetric offers free badges for repositories

[…] Hey institutional #digital #repository managers: @altmetric offers free badges for repositories  […]

February 5, 2015 at 12:00 am

Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories OA 기관 Repository에는 무료 지원 #fb

[…]  1Altmetrics in libraries and institutional repositories – Altmetric  […]

Automata in the library – The Cathologuer
December 5, 2016 at 12:00 am

[…] Attention does not necessarily correlate with quality, of course; the figures by themselves have the potential to mislead, above all when it comes to analysing the distinct patterns of reception and discussion at work in the life-cycle of a particular research output. Nevertheless, the increasing volume of scholarly literature in circulation, its growing complexity and diversity (as made clear in a 2014 report by OCLC Research on The Evolving Scholarly Record), means that some sort of indicators as to currently trending topics and contributions to ongoing discussions can but be of help both to the acquisitions librarians tasked with collections development in a certain area and to those given custody of their institution’s digital repository. […]

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