Altmetric Blog

Our sources: tracking global news

Cat Williams, 1st December 2014

We often get asked during demos, webinars and conference sessions for more detail on the news sources we track for mentions of academic research – and in particular how we do it, and how global our coverage is.  

So firstly, what do we track, and why?
We see mentions in mainstream media and news as a crucial part of the wider engagement a piece of research achieves. If an article, book, or dataset is picked up and getting a lot of coverage amongst mainstream media outlets, chances are it has a notable societal significance and the potential to generate further discussion or study.

Being able to provide this data helps researchers:

  • easily see and report on how their work has been communicated by the press to the general public
  • get ideas for new outlets to engage with in future
  • identify where a new approach might be needed in order to ensure their work is fairly and accurately reported

To this end, we maintain a curated list of over 1,000 news outlets, which we are adding to every week. These come from all corners of the globe, and in many different languages. Our current regional coverage is represented here:



How do we do it?
We combine a mixture of automated scanning for links and text mining to try and ensure our news coverage is as comprehensive as possible. As long as the news outlet and domain of the content it refers to (for example The Washington Post and an article on are on our whitelist, we’ll pick up the mention.

You can read more about the technical detail in this blog post contributed by one of our developers earlier this year, and this one from our Product Development Manager which gives a little more detail on the text mining.

Any mentions we find relating to a particular research output are then displayed on the ‘news’ tab of the Altmetric details page for that piece of research – you’ll see the title of the news piece that mentioned the research and be able to click through to read the original news article in full.

Want to suggest news sources we might not be tracking?
Tell us about it! Please make sure it’s news and not personal opinion, and has a working RSS feed – we’ll add it as long as all checks out ok.

8 Responses to “Our sources: tracking global news”

Terry Bucknell (@terrybucknell)
December 1, 2014 at 12:00 am

New on the @Altmetric blog: Our sources: tracking global news

レタープレス株式会社 (@LppsTweet)
December 1, 2014 at 12:00 am

Our sources: tracking global news→

Leibniz-Science2.0 (@lfvscience20)
December 2, 2014 at 12:00 am

Our sources: tracking global news #altmetrics

December 2, 2014 at 12:00 am

Our sources: tracking global news

Altmetric Top 100 2014 |
December 9, 2014 at 12:00 am

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