We get asked a lot how researchers can best make use of altmetrics and the data we provide. Our thinking around this splits the potential use cases into 3 main categories:
- Reputation management: because Altmetric tracks attention sources in real time to provide a collated record of the mentions and shares of your research as soon as it’s published, it’s much easier to see who is saying what about it. This gives you the opportunity to step in early to engage or clarify details of your research where necessary and helps ensure your findings are being communicated and interpreted correctly.
- Showcasing reach and influence: if you’re looking for ways to better demonstrate the reach and influence of your work or engagement beyond just academic audiences, altmetrics can be really useful. You might like to consider including examples of where your publications have been covered in the media, discussed amongst different communities, or have achieved international reach in things like your CV, funding applications or annual reviews. You could also use the altmetrics data as part of the discussion of the aims and outcomes of your research with your line or program manager – a great way to start getting and analysing some feedback if your research has only recently been published and does not yet have any formal academic citations.
- Discovery: Altmetric has tracked attention to about 5 million outputs to date. That’s a mixture of journal articles, books, datasets, images, reports, and thousands of other research items that have received mentions or shares in the sources we track. Altmetric badges can now be found on the abstract pages of over 6,000 journals, and tools such as the free Bookmarklet and Explorer for Institutions can be used to gather context for new publications in your field – making it easy to see what’s trending and why it’s popular. Some researchers have even found new collaborators by checking the Altmetric details page for their work to see who is discussing it!
To support researchers in understanding and making use of altmetrics we’ve created some brand new guides that we hope will be useful:
Using altmetrics in your NIH Biosketch
Showcasing the value of your previous work to funders is becoming increasingly important. They want to see what the broader impacts of your research are, how you’ve engaged with different audiences, and to gather as much context as possible in relation to the grant you are applying for.
Making use of Altmetric (and other altmetrics) tools and selecting highlights to include in your personal summary can really help support your case.
Download this guide to find out more about why these kind of insights are likely to be of interest to your funder, how to find the data and some examples of what including it might look like.
Tips and tricks for promoting your research
At Altmetric we assign each research output we find online attention for an ‘Altmetric score‘. This score is a weighted count of the online attention an item has received and is intended to reflect the reach of that engagement (the higher the score the bigger the reach and volume of attention). We know that researchers are always keen to make their score as high as possible, and whilst that in itself should never be the end goal, it’s great if you want to get out there and make your research more visible to audiences who might have an interest in it.
This doesn’t need to be big; it can be as simple as making sure your department is aware that you’ve published the work, including a link to it in your social media profile or email signature, or making sure you share it online when presenting at conferences.
We’ve created this guide that offers some top tips for making your research more discoverable – take a look and see which of the techniques would be most suitable for attracting the audiences you want to reach, and what you might be able to easily integrate into your existing workflows.
A researcher guide to getting started with Altmetric Explorer for Institutions
Many institutions all around the world are now using the Altmetric Explorer for Institutions platform to monitor and report on the online attention surrounding their research outputs at the author, department and institutional level. For researchers, this is an opportunity to get to grips with a lot of altmetrics! The database contains not only Altmetric data for your institution’s publications, but also the millions of other research outputs Altmetric have tracked attention to – making it possible to compare and contrast the attention your research is receiving with that of your peers from other organisations, identify trends, and discover interesting new content to read.
Our new getting started guide covers the basics: an overview of what the score and Altmetric donut show; how to find out what attention your research is receiving; registering to export data and set up email alerts to be notified of new mentions; pulling out interesting mentions or coverage of your work for your CV, annual review or funding application; and how to use the platform to find recent publications in your field that are attracting attention from a broader audience.