Whilst altmetrics can help you track the conversations around your published work, the data can also have practical applications to directly assist with the process of conducting research. In this post I’m going to take you through the different ways in which altmetrics can help you find new research partnerships and collaborators for your next project!
Tracking the discussion
Altmetric collate all mentions of tracked research in details pages which are an easily navigable dashboard of who is talking about each piece of research, what they’re saying and where. Mentions are split up into tabs by source allowing you to easily browse through comments and discussions from the mainstream media, academic and social networks and much more.
Being able to see the full-text mentions and who has written them allows you to really dig down into where commentators’ interests lie. This also gives you the ability to click through to a Twitter account, blog, or Facebook profile and to be able to easily contact the person discussing the work directly.
Three ways to access the Altmetric details page
The Altmetric Bookmarklet
Dive into the attention for any individual research article by adding the altmetric bookmarklet to your browser. Once installed you can then visit any article page on a publisher site, select the bookmarklet and then click through to the article details page. The Bookmarklet is free and can be downloaded here, here’s a short video on our instagram page of how to install and use it, simple!
We work with many publishers, including Michigan Press as shown in the screenshot below, to embed Altmetric badges in to article pages on their websites allowing users to visit the Altmetric details page for an article in a single click.
Altmetric Explorer for Institutions
If your institution has an Altmetric Explorer for Institutions site licence you can dive into the entire Altmetric database and explore the engagement relating to over 9 million research outputs! The powerful search capabilities of the Explorer allow you to search by title, topic, persistent identifier (e.g, doi) or author name to find the collated record of attention for the most relevant research outputs. Searches done within the Explorer will bring back a list of articles ordered by Altmetric Attention Score so you can find the most discussed research on a particular subject.
Selecting the right collaborator
Now you’re up to speed where to find the data here’s a three step plan of how to start finding your next research buddy:
Step 1 Think about what you want from your collaborators
Different research projects will have different requirements and objectives – and who you chose to work with will of course differ depending on what those are. For example:
- Are you keen to engage a certain audience in a certain way? If so, which channels are most effective for engaging with that audience? Would it be worth working with someone who is already embedded in those networks or has experience of communicating to them?
- Are you applying for funding and need to find some collaborators from a specific region?
- Or do you just want to expand your network and work with an emerging researcher or different group to those you generally collaborate with?
Identifying these criteria will give you a good idea of what you’re looking for before you dive into the altmetrics.
Step 2 Take a look at the data to identify people that fit your requirements
Using the tools outlined above you can explore the altmetrics for research articles in the discipline you want to publish in and find researchers who are reaching the right audience, have the relevant experience, or even people in your field who are commenting on and actively engaging with your previously published research who might be interested to form a partnership.
If you’re looking for a potential collaborator from a specific geographical region then clicking through the Altmetric details page to review the individual profiles of people discussing the publication can be useful for surfacing this information.
If you are able to access the Altmetric Explorer you can use the powerful search functionality to quickly narrow down your search.
Steps 3 Reach out
Once you have identified a researcher or group of researchers you would like to work with it’s time to get in contact! If you are unable to find their contact details via their social profiles or blog you may need to use search for them using Google. Once you have their details you can then reach out and invite them to collaborate.
Further information on finding collaborators can be found in our latest free guide. If you have any of your own tips for finding collaborators please feel free to share them in the comments section below!