The University of Queensland

The University of Queensland Australia company logo

“Users can see past the numbers and see value in the content – this helps when showing what research engagement and impact is.”

elisha bignell, research outputs and impact librarian


For more than a century, the University of Queensland (UQ) has educated and worked with outstanding people to create positive change for society. UQ research has global impact and is delivered by an interdisciplinary community of more than 1500 researchers at six faculties, eight research institutes and 100+ research centers.


The Library team were looking for a way to tell a fuller story about the University’s research. With so much research being published, it is crucial to track – as far as possible – citations, use, and engagement.

The first use of Altmetric had come some years earlier from UQ’s library. Altmetric’s attention scores are shown on the landing page of the institutional research repository, UQ eSpace. In turn, the scores link to a details page that shows the research’s online attention and activity. Altmetric collects relevant mentions from social media sites, newspapers, policy documents, blogs, Wikipedia and elsewhere.

More recently, the University of Queensland had been searching for tools to help find evidence for the engagement and impact of UQ’s research. This has become more crucial for research institutes and schools across the globe, and particularly in Australia.

“Altmetric Explorer provides benefits that enable researchers and the university as a whole to better express and plan for research engagement and impact.”

elisha bignell, research outputs and impact librarian

Implementing Altmetric Explorer to demonstrate research impact

The team was keen to find a solution which genuinely showed research engagement and impact. In evaluating Altmetric Explorer they were attracted to the design ethos of the interface, which encourages users to drill down into details underlying the attention score. The visuals, like the timelines and demographics, help users to see past raw numbers and to see value in the content.

The team also welcomed the ability to save searches, and to create and share visually appealing reports that update data automatically.

Measuring research performance

Altmetric Explorer’s reporting adds up to a powerful performance indicator for the faculties and research institutes. Demonstrating research impact is an increasingly important part of securing research grants and is helpful in identifying researchers and research activities with end-user outcomes.

Encouraging a strategic approach to improving research

Altmetric Explorer helps researchers – and the university as a whole – to plan strategically for even greater research engagement and impact. Reporting has been enhanced; instead of researchers needing to be encouraged to look at data, they now ask for frequent updates. Indeed, some reports are a regular agenda item on research committee meetings.

The university is planning to make even greater use of Altmetric Explorer in future, championing its use to the wider UQ community and rolling it out to still more units.

The information provides useful insights into how UQ research is shared globally, giving units some visibility of the reach and attention of their activities.

Register here to receive the latest news and updates from Altmetric