Altmetric Blog

Attention and influencers: discover who’s engaging with your research the most

Cat Williams, 12th November 2019

Do you know who is engaging with your research and that of your peers the most? Having this information at your fingertips can help build your professional networks, benchmark performance, evidence successes, and shape more effective communication strategies. 

It’s certainly something a lot of our users have been asking for, and so we’re really excited to announce our newest addition to the Altmetric Explorer: the ‘Mention Sources’ tab!

Available from today, the Mention Sources tab makes it quick and easy to see exactly which sources and people (e.g., specific tweeters, news outlets, policy sources, and more) have mentioned your research the most. Thanks to the huge breadth of coverage in the Explorer, you could also perform these searches for content that isn’t your own to see how you compare to peers, other organizations, or competitor titles.


Are you reaching the right people?

The Mention Sources tab will be a powerful tool for anyone who frequently uses Altmetric data to analyze the audiences of their research or to assess their own outreach efforts. It can help you answer questions like: 

  • Which policymakers are reading our work and referencing it the most? How has this changed over time and are there others we should be engaging with?  
  • Who are the most influential tweeters or bloggers in my field? Which journals are they reading?
  • How can we improve our communications strategy? Which press outlets should we be targeting, and in which countries? 

For example, as a research administrator you could run a search for the articles published by authors in a specific department or discipline at your institution in the last 3 years, and see which policy outlets have referenced those articles most often: 

Then, you could compare those results with that of another institution to see if you are having the same level of influence with the same policymakers, or if you might want to adjust your strategy. 

Or, perhaps you’re working in pharmaceutical or journal marketing, and might like to explore the audience around a particular journal, article or topic – looking at which tweeters have been sharing and discussing your content and that of others the most can help inform marketing activity. 

The Twitter follower count information provides some great insights, showing who your real key opinion leaders are: 


Building new strategies

This new functionality isn’t just about how you’re performing now, it’s also information that can be used to help inform future plans as well. Looking to expand your reach in a particular geographical area? Take your search a step further by filtering by country to see which outlets and influencers you should be getting your work in front of. 

It might be that there are vital audiences your work is not yet reaching who you should consider engaging with, or maybe you’re already doing a great job and can use this information as evidence of success in reporting to key stakeholders, replicating successful strategies, and grant or promotion applications.

The data will also be available to download in spreadsheet format (although for tweeters we can only include the Tweeter ID) so you can do further analyses outside the platform if you wish.

Happy exploring!


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