Altmetrics Banner

Altmetric LLP

Scientists talk. Let's listen.
Every day, thousands of scholarly papers are being discovered, discussed and shared.

Altmetric tracks what people are saying about papers online on behalf of publishers, authors, libraries and institutions.

‘Altmetrics’, or Alternative Metrics

By: Altmetric

Researchers, funders and institutions are increasingly concerned about the impact of their work and return on their investments.

The traditional methods of counting citations and downloads to measure impact misses much, not least of which the reception to published research among a wider society. As a result, there has been a desire in the scholarly community to gain a better understanding of the reach and attention a paper receives beyond the academic sphere.

‘Altmetrics’, or alternative metrics, have evolved to help answer those questions by tracking and collating mentions and shares of academic research papers and other outputs (such as datasets) across traditional and social media outlets, blogs, public policy documents, post-publication peer-review forums and online reference managers.

How it Works

Altmetric LLP, who provide the data, collect article level metrics and the online conversations around research papers by tracking a selection of online indicators (both scholarly and non-scholarly) to give a measurement of digital impact and reach. ‘Mentions’ that contain links to any version of the same paper are picked up, and collated. The result is the Altmetric score.

The Altmetric data available on the articles allows you to:

• See the attention that each article is receiving from non-traditional sources, including;

  • mainstream and social media
  • published policy documents
  • online reference managers
  • post-publication peer-review forums
• Explore the conversations surrounding the content
• Identify recent papers your peers think are interesting


The Altmetric Score

The score is a quantitative measure of the attention that a scholarly article has received. It is derived from 3 main factors:

  • 1. Volume
    The score for an article rises as more people mention it.
  • 2. Sources
    Each category of mention contributes a different base amount to the final score.
  • 3. Authors
    How often the author of each mention talks about scholarly articles influences the contribution of the mention.

You can click on the Altmetric logo (badge) to be taken to the article details page, which will show you each mention of the paper:

Altmetric donut badge

The ring-shaped donut visualization will differ in color depending on what sources the article has mentions from – blue for twitter, yellow for blogs, red for mainstream media sources – and so on.

Altmetrics measures attention to articles from different academic and public sources. Sources include news stories, Facebook posts, tweets, blog posts, Google+ posts, Mendeley readers, Wikipedia, YouTube, policy documents, review forums, reference managers, and new scholarly and lay sources that enter markets.

STAT!Ref & Altmetrics

An Altmetric Badge through a STAT!Ref Evidence Alert:

An Altmetric Badge through a Statref Evidence Alert

Currently, you will find Altmetrics in STAT!Ref through:

  • EE+ / Cochrane Systematic Reviews
  • EE+ / POEMs
  • Evidence Alerts
  • Decker Databases (using chapter-level DOIs)
  • Supplement-Goals Reference Guide and Research Digest

Additional Resources:

Altmetrics Vertical Badge with results


What others are saying...

Altmetrics: What they are and why they should matter to the library and information community.

-- Andy Tattersall BA (Hons) (University of Sheffield), MSc (University of Sheffield) - Cilip - Go to Article   »


Altmetrics in Higher Education Institutions: Three Case Studies

-- Natalia Madjarevic & Fran Davies - The Winnower - Go to Article   »

We wanted to be able to offer our publishers and authors a way of monitoring the online conversation around the research they produce, so this partnership was a logical step for us.

-- Byron Russell, Head of ingentaconnect at Publishing Technology - more   »

These metrics transparently show the impact and reach of articles published in our journals, enable evaluation, and help readers see what others find interesting and notable," said Kira Anthony, Editorial Development Manager, NPG. "The interest in both traditional metrics and 'altmetrics' from the research community is clear, and NPG is pleased to offer this improved functionality and service to our readers and authors. Institutions, funders and those mining data are also beginning to look at this information, for example for the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) evaluation in the UK. Some REF panels will look at article citations and consider other measures of tracking research impact.

-- PRESS RELEASE FROM NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP (2012) - more   »