Altmetric Top 100

The Altmetric Top 100 is an annual list of the research that most caught the public imagination.

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About the Altmetric Top 100

What is Altmetric?

Altmetric is a data science company whose mission is to track and analyze the online activity around scholarly literature. We collate what people are saying about published research outputs in sources such as the mainstream media, policy documents, social networks, blogs, and other scholarly and non-scholarly forums. In doing so, we provide a more robust picture of the influence and reach of scholarly work. Altmetric works with some of the biggest publishers, funders, and institutions around the world to deliver this data in an accessible and reliable format.

What are altmetrics?

Altmetrics are metrics and qualitative data that can tell you a lot about how often journal articles and other scholarly outputs like datasets are discussed and used around the world.

They can include (but are not limited to) peer reviews on Faculty of 1000, citations on Wikipedia and in public policy documents, discussions on research blogs, mainstream media coverage, bookmarks on reference managers like Mendeley, and mentions on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

What is the Top 100?

The Altmetric Top 100 is an annual list of the research that has most captured the public’s imagination each year. We have released an annual Top 100 list since 2013.

How is the Top 100 list created?

In November of each year, we retrieve a list of the most discussed research in our database that was published in the past 365 days. We then ensure that the research is original (i.e. not an editorial or systematic review) and is either a peer-reviewed journal article or pre-print intended for publication.

We then pare down the list to the Top 100 results ranked by Altmetric Attention Score and check each article for the following data, using a combination of manual and automated means:

To the best of our ability, we also manually check each article’s Altmetric Details Page to weed out research that may have received a large amount of inorganic (i.e. spam) attention.

How is the Altmetric Attention Score calculated?

The score is derived from an automated algorithm and represents a weighted count of the amount of attention we've picked up for a research output. Why is it weighted? To reflect the relative reach of each type of source (e.g. a news article that mentions research is likely more widely seen than a blog post).

Note that the Altmetric Attention Score listed for an article on the Top 100 website may differ from the Score that appears on the article’s Altmetric Details Page. That’s because Details Pages are dynamic, whereas the Top 100 website is a snapshot of attention when we gathered the data in November 2018.

In rare cases, Scores listed on the Top 100 site may be higher than those on Details Pages, due to changes in the mentions data and how we assign weights to different mentions.

To learn more, visit our Knowledge Base.

What attention sources does Altmetric track?

Altmetric tracks more than fifteen distinct kinds of data sources, including public policy documents, news articles, blog post, mentions in syllabi, and social networks. The full list of Altmetric attention sources can be found on our Knowledge Base.

What’s the highest Altmetric Attention Score ever?

The highest ever Altmetric Attention Score is 11980 (as of November 29, 2018). The score belongs to an article titled, “How Diversity Works”, published in Scientific American in 2014.

Are there any particular trends you’ve noticed over the last few years?

Since 2013, health-related research appears most often in the Altmetric Top 100. The majority of Top 100 research features authors from US and UK institutions. In terms of journals, Nature research appears most often with 72 papers included in 2013-2017 Top 100 lists. Over the same time period, Science comes in second with a total of 50 articles, and next is PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) with 36 articles. There is no definite trend with regard to Open Access status of research in the Top 100--generally speaking, 30-40% of articles included each year are OA.

Who is using these data and how?

Publishers, institutions, researchers, and funders increasingly use the data provided by Altmetric to track and report on the broader influence of their research. Some great examples can be found in this list of Altmetric Case Studies.

Popular papers from the Top 100 list are often featured as examples of how an organization or researcher’s expertise has made an impact in a specific field, and of the extent to which they are achieving wider public engagement with their work.

Where can I get more information?

Check out or email us at [email protected].

Where can I report potential issues with the Top 100?

Please email any questions and concerns to [email protected]