Altmetric Blog

New Source Alert: Policy Documents

Jean Liu, 14th August 2014

Has your work been referenced in public policy?

Whenever we talk to people about altmetrics, we explain how the attention data we collect may be able to help identify non-traditional forms of impact. So rather than only relying on citation counts and other traditional bibliometrics, we’re also interested in finding about the impact of research in society at large.

As you might have already learned from our June press release announcing the launch of Altmetric for Institutions, we recently started tracking some highly impactful new sources of attention: policy and guidance documents. Specifically, we are now looking for references made to research papers within these documents. We’re really proud of this addition, (represented by a violet stripe in the donut) as policy documents are arguably some of the most important sources we’ve ever tracked.

 

How does our policy tracking work?

Policy documents are often published in PDF format. Sometimes these documents will have reference sections, which list all the articles, books, and other publications that have been cited in the text. We begin by automatically processing each PDF document, pulling out plain text and searching for possible references to scholarly articles, line-by-line. Afterwards, the references are checked in PubMed and CrossRef databases to determine whether or not they unambiguously refer to actual scholarly articles. Once a match is made, the policy document is added to that article’s details page.

Here’s an example of a World Health Organization policy document on collaborative TB/HIV activities, and the details page of a BMJ article that was mentioned in the document.

WHO policy mention example

 

Which policy documents are being tracked?

Since each website that hosts policy documents is different, we actually have to write a custom crawler for each individual policy document site. (Policy documents are not stored in the same way from source to source, and can’t be retrieved from an API, hence the need for a custom solution for each site.)

We’re aiming to track over 40 policy sites by the end of 2014. Currently, some sources that you might see on Altmetric article details pages include, but are not limited to:

 

Have any policy sources to suggest?

Of course, our target list of policy sources is by no means complete! We’re always looking for further suggestions to improve the source so if you think there’s a particular organisation that has policy documents we should be tracking, please send us a message at support@altmetric.com to let us know. We’d be happy to send you some Altmetric goodies as a thank you!

21 Responses to “New Source Alert: Policy Documents”

Iara VPS (@iaravps)
August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

Great news: @altmetric is now tracking policy docs! http://t.co/etPrTJ9VMy #greylit #altmetrics

@Ednoyons
August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

@GemmaDerrick “@altmetric: Introducing our newest source of article mentions: policy docs. http://t.co/NVuxb1wVaG #altmetrics”

@Magda_Skipper
August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

@altmetric is now looking for references made to research papers in policy documents http://t.co/IaCObHy1ml

Impactstory (@Impactstory)
August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

MT @altmetric
Introducing our newest source of article mentions: policy docs. Find out how they track http://t.co/Skw1EvU92Z #altmetrics

@BenMcLeish
August 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

Altmetric is now tracking Policy Documents - http://t.co/ycLmNKZmm0

Lupicinio Iñiguez (@lupicinio)
August 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

New Source Alert: Policy Documents | http://t.co/AV3CbArTOp vc @subirats9 @JuanMJus

@subirats9
August 16, 2014 at 12:00 am

¿Ir más allá de los índices de impacto habituales? " @laltmetric looking for references in policy" http://t.co/c8nldBHrF1 via @lupicinio

Lou Woodley (@LouWoodley)
August 17, 2014 at 12:00 am

The @altmetric tool is now tracking mentions of publications in policy documents. Explainer: http://t.co/5WrLs67MNd

President Icinghower (@icinghower)
August 24, 2014 at 12:00 am

@theWinnower @alexisohanian @altmetric Not just social media! Policy docs too! :) http://t.co/SBzqh1tBdy

[…] PlumX rolled out GoodReads metrics, increasing altmetrics coverage for books. And Altmetric.com now tracks mentions of research articles in policy documents–a big win for understanding how academic research influences public […]

Links vom 11.09.2014 | Offene Wissenschaft
September 11, 2014 at 12:00 am

[…] New Source Alert: Policy Documents – Altmetrics weist nun auch Referenzen aus Policy Dokumenten aus. Wird damit der politische Einfluss wissenschaftlicher Paper sichtbarer? Und was würde das bedeuten? […]

Altmetric (@altmetric)
September 23, 2014 at 12:00 am

@raggediman here you go - how we track mentions in policy documents: http://t.co/LXPzZyyDbS #altmetrics

@LppsTweet
October 30, 2014 at 12:00 am

政策文書から引用された論文についてもAltmetric指標が付与されるようになったようです⇒http://t.co/5WQMOSiP6q

@MichelleP_uk
October 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

.@altmetric are tracking public policy documents for academic outputs. You can suggest further sources - see http://t.co/A3kxOettnB for info

@RouhiRoo
November 12, 2014 at 12:00 am

@Emily_T @ALCTS @altmetric database covers grey literature like research platforms and policy docs: http://t.co/Yal2mYe5YG

[…] the launch of our institutional platform last year we began including references from policy documents. We’re still growing the list of what we track in this space but have already uncovered and […]

@glassmanamanda
January 8, 2015 at 12:00 am

A new way to track the policy impact of research: has your work been referenced in a policy document? See Altmetric http://t.co/YyaoWDdc8R

[…] data can help us have. The folks at altimetric.com are starting to provide data that looks at how articles are being used in public policy documents. Finally, moving beyond articles, Peter van Besselaar looking at data derived from grant review […]

[…] data can help us have. The folks at altimetric.com are starting to provide data that looks at how articles are being used in public policy documents. Finally, moving beyond articles, Peter van Besselaar looking at data derived from grant review […]

Jean Liu (@portablebrain)
November 19, 2015 at 12:00 am

There's more to #altmetrics than social media. References to policy and grey literature are included too: https://t.co/yQBmvz2p64 #stmimpact

[…] got some pretty decent proxies for true impact already in the main altmetrics services (i.e. policy citations in Altmetric Explorer, clinical citations in PlumX, dependency PageRank for useful software projects in […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *