Altmetric Blog

Welcome to the Altmetric High Five for November! On a monthly basis, my High Five posts examine a selection of the most popular research outputs Altmetric has seen attention for that month. Our papers this month feature mostly feel-good findings, but sometimes with a twist. For example, researchers this month describe a brand new species of orangutan… that is already endangered. Read on for more good news… with a twist.     Dogs bowing to initiate play. Credit: Thomas Zimmermann, Wikimedia. Paper #1. Man’s best friend Our first High Five paper bring great news for dog lovers. The study, “ … Read More
Altmetrics are a great way for authors to keep track of who is saying what about their work, but they also offer a huge number of opportunities for publishers and editors to get a better understanding of where their articles are being shared and discussed amongst broader audiences. A big benefit of altmetrics is their immediacy; how many times have you sat in a board meeting discussing the Impact Factor of your journal, which actually reflects the activity of the previous year and outcome of decisions you made 3 years ago? Altmetrics can tell you … Read More
While altmetrics are often praised for their ability to show attention in “real time”, to complement traditional citations that tend to take a few years to accrue, they also have the ability to surface attention to older publications. For example, the frighteningly titled “Occurrence of virulent anthrax bacilli in cheap shaving brushes” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1921 received news attention in 2017. Details Page for “Occurrence of virulent anthrax bacilli in cheap shaving brushes” Older attention for books When Altmetric started tracking attention to books I was … Read More
At the end of last month I travelled to Berlin for FORCE 2017, this year’s version of the annual conference that sprung out of the FORC Workshop and Beyond the PDF conferences back in 2011. FORCE11, the group that organizes the conference, has a worthy mission that includes “bring[ing] about a change in modern scholarly communications through the effective use of information technology” which I expect many readers of this blog would be on board with – check out the manifesto for more. I helped to run a workshop designed to help people become more familiar … Read More
Welcome to the Altmetric High Five for October! On a monthly basis, my High Five posts examine a selection of the most popular research outputs Altmetric has seen attention for that month. Our papers this month feature findings that fall somewhere between being creepy and being awesome. It depends on how easily you’re scared. (Big, scary monsters can be awesome, too.)   Fireflies. Photo credit: Jon Liu, Paper #1. The Creepy Decline of Flying Insects Did you see any fireflies this summer? Our first High Five paper is Halloween worthy – not for the presence of things that go “buzz” in … Read More
It’s that time of the year again: when we take a look through our dungeon of research papers (AKA: The Altmetric Explorer) and re-animate the papers that have given us the heebie-jeebies over the past year! This time we’ve exhumed papers on a multitude of spooky subjects from sleep paralysis to Churchill’s essay on Alien life.   The top three scientific explanations for ghost sightings From scary stories to electromagnetic fields and toxic hallucinations this paper gives some research-backed theories as to why people experience ghost sighting. If you’ve ever heard a bump in the night, seen … Read More
The altmetrics journal article with the most online attention ever was published open access in PLOS ONE. I don’t think that’s a coincidence! When research is made openly available online, more people can read and debate it. That helps to raise the profile of the research, meaning an article’s altmetrics’ (and its Altmetric Attention Score) will inevitably rise! There are a number of ways you can legally make your research available online–so-called gold, green, and bronze OA. (For definitions, check … Read More
One of the central aspects of what we do at Altmetric is processing and subsequently storing large quantities of data, whether we are talking about publication meta-data or online attention, in its various formats (news, Facebook or Twitter posts, etc). This allows us to occasionally have a bit of fun in doing  our own research to test assumptions and hypotheses that we or others may hold. (Img: This year, as part of our participation at the 4AM altmetrics conference in Toronto, Canada, Stacy and I decided to engage in a … Read More
“On weekdays we typically process around 400,000 stories … 1% will be about research” We’ve been looking into ways to improve our news collection and analysis algorithms recently and realized that there aren’t a lot of good baseline statistics on how scholarly research is picked up and reported on by the media. We’ve all probably got intuitive answers to questions like “is academic research written about more than football?” or “which outlets have the most original research reporting, and which just publish press releases?” but it’d nice to have some data: so here some is. I’d love to … Read More
It’s Open Access Week! A week when the scholarly community celebrate all the great things about making research open. Here at Altmetric, we’re big advocates of making research as accessible and open to all as possible. By making research open academics can ensure that their work gets seen and read by as many people inside and outside the academic community as possible. Past Altmetric blog posts have included studies and guides on how by publishing your research Open Access you can garner increased citations and … Read More