Using Altmetric data to add context to your literature search
Around the world, researchers are working together to understand COVID-19. Knowing who’s talking about related research and what’s being said is critical to this effort.
We’ve put together resources to help you navigate Altmetric data and evaluate the quality of discussions around coronavirus literature.
Finding relevant research in Altmetric Explorer
Within the Altmetric Explorer you can find online attention data for millions of research articles, clinical trials, datasets and more. Here are some ways you can filter all of that to find the information for the research you want to see:
- Keyword search searches titles and abstracts (where the latter are available).
- Advanced Search > Pubmed Search integration can be used with these expert Pubmed search queries created by MLA and ALIA.
- Dimensions Plus / Dimensions Analytics search results can be imported to Explorer with the click of a button. Here’s our recommended search string to use when searching Dimensions.
- Set up a saved search and get email alerts.
Take a look at our blog post to get a sense of what you can see in the Altmetric data.
Finding high impact data sources and “influencers”
You can also use the Explorer to understand more about who is talking about specific research publications. Here are some of the best ways to go about that:
- Use this saved Mentions Tab search in combination with your favorite Pubmed or Dimensions search to find mentions by key social media accounts, news sources, policymakers, and other influencers and experts.
- Search for mentions in high-impact altmetrics data sources like public policy, Wikipedia, and Faculty of 1000 Prime.
- Customize your Mentions Tab search to search for mentions by locally or discipline-relevant experts.
- Identify (and avoid!) bots and trolls: Keep these elements (adapted from SoTrender) in mind for determining if a social media user might be a bot or troll:
- Newly created account (within the past few months)
- No picture or a reused picture
- Gibberish username
- Posts in multiple languages, switching abruptly
- Posts a lot about conspiracy theories or politics, especially polarizing topics
- Identify (and follow!) influencers: Similarly, you can use these indicators to determine if a social media user might be worth paying attention to:
- Verified account (typically indicated with a badge)
- Profile clearly lists the user’s job title and employer
- Profile links to the user’s professional website
- The user has a high follower-to-following ratio (i.e. they are followed by far more accounts than they themselves follow)
- Their profile photo is clear and original
Researchers around the world have sprung into action to help battle COVID-19. We’re offering free Altmetric badges to anyone building resources to support this effort. Below you can see some examples of sites that have already done this – please get in touch via the form below if you’d like to do the same.
- Evidentia Medica COVID-19 dashboard
- Coronavirus PubMed : Bibliometría V.3, created by Dr. Ernesto Barrera
- Top 317 articles about Coronavirus in PubMed with an Altmetric value over 500, created by Dr. Ernesto Barrera
General Altmetric resources
Need a hand getting started with Altmetric and the data? Here are some useful guides and videos to help you find your way around: