Researcher Data Access Program

Providing free access to Altmetric data for those who study how research is shared and communicated online

Supporting the scientometrics community

Altmetric is committed to helping others drive forward the field of altmetrics research through investigating our data. That’s why we offer our data free of charge to those who wish to understand patterns in scholarly communication across the Web.

Data access is granted only for one-time, limited duration research projects. If you are interested in using our data for evaluative purposes, including for building dashboards, please check out our products listing.

Researchers who wish to enroll in the Researcher Data Access Program must agree to a number of terms (described fully in the Program application form), including making one’s work Open Access, abiding by our official branding guidelines and attribution requirements, and sharing resulting presentations and publications with Altmetric.

Before requesting access, please learn more below about what information our data does and does not include.

We offer free access in several formats suited to all levels of technical expertise.

Available data formats

All of the following data formats include mention data from the 12+ million research outputs we’ve found mentions for online, to date.

Type Conditions of use What can I do with it? 
Altmetric Explorer
  • For researchers working on a specific academic, one-off project
  • Must give attribution to Altmetric when using data, let Altmetric know what project you’re working on with the data and provide updates
  • Run queries in a database on keywords in output titles and abstracts, journal titles, PubMed terms, publisher names, publication dates, and mention timeframes
  • Search up to 25,000 output identifiers or journal ISSNs at once
  • Visualize mentions over time and user demographics
  • Search for full-text mentions in particular attention sources
  • Export metrics and links to mentions to CSV
Altmetric Details Page API – Counts Only
  • For researchers working on a specific academic, one-off project
  • Must give attribution to Altmetric when using data, let Altmetric know what project you’re working on with the data and provide updates
  • Must have prior experience working with APIs
  • Run programmatic queries and retrieve counts of mentions from each source tracked by Altmetric. Rate limited to 1 query/second
  • Best used in instances where samples are pre-defined, as API calls require output identifiers or desired timeframes and data sources
  • Best suited for individuals with programming experience
Altmetric Details Page API – Counts Only, with API key
  • For researchers working on a specific academic, one-off project
  • Must give attribution to Altmetric when using data, let Altmetric know what project you’re working on with the data and provide updates
  • Must have prior experience working with APIs
  • Run queries and retrieve counts of mentions from each source tracked by Altmetric. No rate limits
  • Best used in instances where samples are pre-defined, as API calls require output identifiers or desired timeframes and data sources
  • Best suited for individuals with programming experience
Raw database snapshot (JSON)
  • Intended to be downloaded locally in order to run high-volume, complex queries and analyses
  • For researchers working on a specific academic, one-off project
  • Must give attribution to Altmetric when using data, let Altmetric know what project you’re working on with the data and provide updates
  • Must have extensive prior experience working with JSON
  • Run queries and retrieve links to and snippets of mentions (excluding Tweets due to licensing restrictions)
  • Allows for faster, local data processing (as compared to API data retrieval)
  • Best suited for individuals with extensive programming experience
Custom data retrieval ($)
  • Because of the development resources involved in retrieving custom data, we charge for this service (at-cost)
  • For researchers working on a specific academic, one-off project
  • Must give attribution to Altmetric when using data, let Altmetric know what project you’re working on with the data and provide updates
  • For Explorer data: CSV exports of counts and mention data for queries based on keywords in output titles and abstracts, journal titles, PubMed terms, publisher names, publication dates, and mention timeframes. Suited for those without programming experience
  • For JSON data: Run programmatic queries and retrieve counts and links to and snippets of mentions (excluding Tweets due to licensing restrictions). Allows for faster, local data processing (as compared to API data retrieval). Best suited for individuals with programming experience

 

What does the data include?

Altmetric tracks detailed metrics and mentions for discussions of research outputs (e.g. datasets, journal articles, monographs) on the Web. We capture all mentions where a research output with a compatible persistent identifier and adequate metadata has been linked to in any of the sources we track. The bulk of our data contains mentions from 2011 onward. For more details on our data collection practices, please visit our knowledge base.

What doesn’t the data include?

Our data does not include social media topics and hashtags unless they are associated with discrete research outputs. We also do not track downloads and pageviews, due to concerns over data reliability.

Apply for the Researcher Data Access Program

We’d love to know more about your project and see if Altmetric would be a good fit to answer your research questions. To apply to join the Researcher Data Access Program, please email info@altmetric.com for more information.

 

Resources for scientometrics researchers

All researchers

Explorer users

API and database snapshot users

  • API users and database snapshot users should check out the Altmetric Details Page API documentation and Full Access API example to see which fields are available for retrieval and analysis
  • Researchers have developed some nice packages for using the Altmetric Details Page API, including rAltmetric (R), PyAltmetric (Python), and altmetric (Ruby). Altmetric API keys are required to work with these packages. Note that these packages are not developed nor maintained by Altmetric; please contact the packages’ respective owners for more information or to report bugs.

 

Research on Altmetric data

Curious about the research done on Altmetric data? To find the latest research on altmetrics, visit Dimensions. Here are some of our favorite studies.

TitleJournal YearAuthorsDOIAltmetric Attention ScoreTimes citedFCR
Academic information on Twitter: A user surveyPLoS ONE2018Mohammadi, Ehsan; Thelwall, Mike; Kwasny, Mary; Holmes, Kristi L.10.1371/journal.pone.019726533620
Conservation Research Is Not Happening Where It Is Most NeededPLoS Biology2016Wilson, Kerrie A.; Auerbach, Nancy A.; Sam, Katerina; Magini, Ariana G.; St. L. Moss, Alexander; Langhans, Simone D.; Budiharta, Sugeng; Terzano, Dilva; Meijaard, Erik10.1371/journal.pbio.10024132872921.77
Tracking the digital footprints to scholarly articles from social mediaScientometrics2016Wang, Xianwen; Fang, Zhichao; Guo, Xinhui10.1007/s11192-016-2086-z9042.9
Do “altmetrics” correlate with citations? Extensive comparison of altmetric indicators with citations from a multidisciplinary perspectiveJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology2015Costas, Rodrigo; Zahedi, Zohreh; Wouters, Paul10.1002/asi.23309141193104.24
Characterizing Social Media Metrics of Scholarly Papers: The Effect of Document Properties and Collaboration PatternsPLoS ONE2015Haustein, Stefanie; Costas, Rodrigo; Larivière, Vincent10.1371/journal.pone.01204951409752.39
Tweeting biomedicine: An analysis of tweets and citations in the biomedical literatureJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology2014Haustein, Stefanie; Peters, Isabella; Sugimoto, Cassidy R.; Thelwall, Mike; Larivière, Vincent10.1002/asi.2310127214058.74
Study points to press releases as sources of hypeNature2014Woolston, Chris10.1038/nature.2014.1655110820
How well developed are altmetrics? A cross-disciplinary analysis of the presence of ‘alternative metrics’ in scientific publicationsScientometrics2014Zahedi, Zohreh; Costas, Rodrigo; Wouters, Paul10.1007/s11192-014-1264-06815665.46
An open investigation of the reproducibility of cancer biology researcheLife2014Errington, Timothy M; Iorns, Elizabeth; Gunn, William; Tan, Fraser Elisabeth; Lomax, Joelle; Nosek, Brian A10.7554/elife.043339811616.52
Using altmetrics for assessing research impact in the humanitiesScientometrics2014Hammarfelt, Björn10.1007/s11192-014-1261-3666126.16