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Altmetric, or, is a data science company that tracks where published research is mentioned online, and provides tools and services to institutions, publishers, researchers, funders and other organisations to monitor this activity, commonly referred to as altmetrics.[1][2][3] Altmetric was recognized by European Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn in 2014 as a company challenging the traditional reputation systems.[4]

Altmetric is a portfolio company of Digital Science,[5][6] which is owned by Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.[7]


Altmetric was founded by Euan Adie[8][9] in 2011.[10] Previously a researcher, Adie had already worked on, an open source scientific blog aggregator[11] founded in 2006. In 2011, Adie entered an altmetrics app into Elsevier's Apps for Science competition and won.[12][13] The prize money enabled Altmetric to develop a full version of the Altmetric Explorer, released in February 2012.[14]

In July 2012, Altmetric took on additional investment from Digital Science[1] and is still a part of the group today, with offices in London, Germany, the United States and Australia.

In 2019 Altmetric and Nature received funding from the Google Digital News Innovation Fund to "build a novel tool for measuring the impact of journalism".[15]


A term first coined in the altmetrics manifesto in 2010,[9][16] altmetrics (also known as 'alternative metrics') were developed to provide authors and other stakeholders a more comprehensive record of engagement with scholarly work, particularly that which takes place beyond the academy amongst a broader audience. In order to do this, Altmetric tracks a range of online sites and sources looking for 'mentions' (links or written references) to scholarly outputs (which include journal articles, blogs, data sets and more).[17] Sources of the attention include the mainstream media, public policy documents, social and academic networks, post-publication peer-review forums and, more recently, Wikipedia and the Open Syllabus Project.[18]

The data are tracked in real-time and collated in the Altmetric details pages, which provide a clickable summary of all of the online attention relating to a single research output.

The Altmetric Attention Score and Donut Badge[edit]

Altmetric employs an algorithm to assign each item an automatically calculated score. Based on the volume and source of attention an item has received, the score is intended to reflect the reach or popularity of the research output. A multicolored 'donut' visualization is also generated to provide a summary of the sources of the attention that an item has received (red for news, light blue for Twitter, etc.).[19][20] Altmetric make the data available via the Altmetric Bookmarklet, a browser plugin, the Explorer platform, a cloud-hosted database, and API.

Trending papers from peer-reviewed psychology journals based on their Altmetric Attention Scores.

The sources include academic citations and academic platforms, patents, posts on social media and web forums, Wikipedia articles, users on Mendeley.[21]

Many publishers, including John Wiley & Sons, Taylor and Francis, The JAMA Network and Springer Nature embed the Altmetric 'Donut' Badges into their journal article and book pages to show the Altmetric score for individual items from within the publisher platform.[22][23][24][25] At least one website, OOIR, is specifically built around the showcase of scientific trends based on Altmetric Attention Scores.[26] Even though there is no clear link between altmetric scores and societal impact, they can be used to predict future citation impact ,[27] and may be a target for manipulation.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Piwowar, Heather (9 January 2013). "AOP". Nature. 493 (7431): 159. Bibcode:2013Natur.493..159P. doi:10.1038/493159a. PMID 23302843. S2CID 205075867.
  2. ^ Shema, Hadas. "Thoughts about altmetrics (an unorganized, overdue post)". Scientific American Blog Network. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  3. ^ Clark, Liat (2014-08-13). "How 'Google Science' could transform academic publishing". Wired UK. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  4. ^ Geoghegan-Quinn, Máire. "EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) Keynote Speech: "Science 2.0: Europe can lead the next scientific transformation"". European Commission. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Home - Digital Science". Digital Science. Retrieved 2017-02-25.
  6. ^ Coghill, Jeffrey G.; Russell, Roger G., eds. (2016). Developing Librarian Competencies for the Digital Age. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 9. ISBN 9781442264458.
  7. ^ Carpenter, Caroline (2015-05-06). "Completed merger forms 'Springer Nature'". The Bookseller. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  8. ^ Stuart, David (2015-06-01). "Research Information". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b Luther, Judy (2012-07-25). "Altmetrics – Trying to Fill the Gap". The Scholarly Kitchen. Society for Scholarly Publishing. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  10. ^ Hicks, Diana; Wouters, Paul; Waltman, Ludo; de Rijcke, Sarah; Rafols, Ismael (22 April 2015). "Bibliometrics: The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics". Nature. 520 (7548): 429–431. Bibcode:2015Natur.520..429H. doi:10.1038/520429a. hdl:10261/132304. PMID 25903611.
  11. ^ McIntosh, Joyce, ed. (2016). Library and Information Science: Parameters and Perspectives. CRC Press. p. 33. ISBN 9781466562028.
  12. ^ "Altmetric | Apps for Science". Apps for Science. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  13. ^ Elsevier. "Elsevier Announces Winners of "Apps for Science" Challenge". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  14. ^ "Explorer for Publishers". Altmetric. 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  15. ^ "Altmetric and Nature awarded funding from the Google Digital News Innovation Fund – Altmetric". Retrieved 2022-02-21.
  16. ^ "altmetrics: a manifesto –". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  17. ^ "How it works". Altmetric. 2015-07-09. Archived from the original on 2020-02-12. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  18. ^ "Our sources". Altmetric. 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  19. ^ "The donut and Altmetric Attention Score". Altmetric. 2015-07-09. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  20. ^ Sheffield, University of. "Altmetric donuts - Altmetric - Research Information Systems - Research & Innovation Services - The University of Sheffield". Archived from the original on 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  21. ^ "Sources of Attention: Altmetric track a unique range of online sources to capture the conversations relating to research outputs". 2015-07-09.
  22. ^ "Altmetrics". Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  23. ^ "Author Services Measuring impact with article metrics". 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  24. ^ Network, The JAMA. "About Altmetrics on The JAMA Network". Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  25. ^ "Springer now sharing data from Altmetric on SpringerLink". Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  26. ^ "About OOIR". Retrieved 2023-03-14.
  27. ^ Thelwall, Mike; Nevill, Tamara (2018). "Could scientists use scores to predict longer term citation counts?". Journal of Informetrics. 12 (1): 237–248. arXiv:1801.10311. doi:10.1016/j.joi.2018.01.008. S2CID 4623584.
  28. ^ Wien, Charlotte; Deutz, Daniella B. (2019-06-21). "What's in a tweet? Creating Social Media Echo Chambers to inflate 'the donut'". LIBER Quarterly. 29: 3. doi:10.18352/lq.10289.