Altmetric Blog

Finding the most relevant research has just gotten a lot easier

Inez van Korlaar, 16th October 2018

In this post, Inez van Korlaar, Head of Marketing, talks about how Altmetric has made some major search enhancements to the Altmetric Explorer by allowing users to search by subject area and author affiliation.

We’re very proud to introduce two new search features (both of which have been high on our users’ wish lists for many years) to the Altmetric Explorer this month; we’ve integrated data from the search and discovery database Dimensions to make it possible to search by subject area and author affiliation!

Being able to search by these facets allows for a lot more flexibility and precision in finding the research you want to see the Altmetric data for. On top of filtering within the platform, subject and affiliation data are also available to be exported for richer analyses and reporting. The new functionality is available now for all subscribers of the Altmetric Explorer for Institutions and the Altmetric Explorer for Publishers, and we believe it will enable you to use the Altmetric data in the platform in richer ways than ever before.

Key benefits for users:

  • Powerful new search options: Search across the entire Altmetric database by subject area (using the Fields of Research classification) and author affiliations (using GRID).
  • New Highlights tab visualizations: For any Explorer search query, see which organizations are receiving the most attention, and which subject areas have been most frequently discussed.
  • Richer context for reporting: Subjects and affiliations data can now be exported alongside Altmetric data, and are available inside CSV exports and the Explorer API.

Searching by subject area and affiliation

The data for both subjects and affiliations comes from Dimensions, a versatile search and discovery platform that allows users to explore the connections between over 138 million grants, publications, clinical trials, patents and policy documents. Dimensions, which launched in January 2018, was realized by bringing together forces from across six Digital Science portfolio companies, including Altmetric.

Dimensions has been creating article-level subject classifications, assigning Fields of Research (FoR) codes to individual journal articles. Altmetric has now ingested the subjects data for these articles from Dimensions, which opens up many new possibilities for users of the Altmetric Explorer.

With the release of the new functionality, users can now search within the Altmetric Explorer by a Fields of Research (FoR) code or a subject name (See here for more information about the Field of Research subject classification system).  

As with the subject areas data, author affiliations data for journal articles are also supplied to Altmetric by Dimensions, allowing users to search within the Altmetric Explorer by the name of any institution or by a GRID ID (See here for more information about GRID).

How does the new search functionality benefit you?

Researchers and other institutional users are now able to use the Altmetric Explorer in ways that were never possible before. For instance, “horizon scanning” by subject area allows them to keep up-to-date with interesting research from specific subject areas within their organization and beyond. At the same time, the new affiliations data can help researchers to identify potential collaborators who are active in specific subject areas. For research administrators, it has now become a lot easier to make altmetric comparisons between your own and other institutions. Previously, it was already possible for you to see the altmetrics associated with outputs produced by your own institution via a data implementation in Altmetric Explorer for Institutions. But now, it’s much easier to also see and compare your data with the altmetrics for outputs produced by other institutions.

Whether you’re a publisher or an editor, you can now use the Altmetric Explorer to more easily identify trending articles and rising stars — valuable information which you can use to decide what topics you want to publish on in your journals or books programs, and to find potential authors or editors for your publications. The new affiliation search option will make it possible to see which content from researchers at a target institution have received a lot of attention, which allows you to tailor your institutional sales approach.

Our corporate R&D users may find it equally useful to find potential academic collaborators via the Explorer, for instance by looking at which institutions are getting a lot of attention for their research in particular areas, or which researchers have a strong link with policy makers.

Richer context for reporting: Exportable subject and affiliation data

If you wish to conduct further analyses using the affiliation or subject data, you will be able to see new columns containing these data for each journal article listed within the CSV spreadsheet exports from the Research Outputs and the Mentions tabs of the Altmetric Explorer.

For users of the Altmetric Explorer API, the data are also available within the Research Outputs and the Mentions endpoints. Please make sure to have a look at the Explorer API technical documentation which explains this in more detail.

Try it out today

Needless to say, we at Altmetric are very pleased to offer our users this new functionality and we hope it will be of value to you. Try it for yourself today!  

For any questions, or if you want to have a chat about how you can use the new search capabilities to benefit your organization, please contact us and we’d be happy to help.

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