Our mission is to track the conversations around research outputs online wherever they're happening. To that end we're constantly looking for new sources of data.


Specifically what we're looking for are sources that regularly link to scholarly content, though in some cases like news outlets and policy documents we're also able to perform text mining to try to match research mentioned (but not linked to) with published scholarly articles. We can only do this robustly under certain circumstances.


Sometimes we're held back by the level of access available and sometimes the source just doesn't contain enough content to be worth tracking. If you would like to suggest a new attention source do let us know with the feedback option or by email.

Research outputs 

We are actively tracking mentions related to the following types of research outputs:
  1. Books
  2. Book Chapters
  3. Journal Articles
  4. Presentations
  5. Theses/Dissertations
  6. Reports 
  7. Conference proceedings
  8. Reviews
  9. Data Sets
  10. Working papers
  11. Grey literature
  12. Clinical Trials
  13. And more!

If a research output is from a domain we have whitelisted, contains a persistent identifier and is described with the correct metadata we can track it. 

Attention sources


Altmetric currently tracks the following attention sources for mentions of research outputs. Where possible we surface the original text of each mention, and in some cases are also able to provide demographic data on the author of the mention. It's crucial to us that all of our data is fully auditable, and that you can see not only how many people are talking about the research, but who they are and what they're saying. 


1. Policy documents   


We track a wide range of public policy documents for mentions. We define policy documents as any policy, guidance, or guidelines document from a governmental or non-governmental organisation.


2. Mainstream media 


This list currently extends to over 5000 English and non-English global news outlets.    


3. Blogs 


We maintain a manually curated list of over 15,000 academic and non-academic blogs. These are tracked automatically via RSS feeds.    


4. Online reference managers 

  • Mendeley       
  • CiteULike   


5. Post-publication peer-review forums

  • PubPeer
  • Historical data: Publons - We no longer pick up reviews from Publons but you will still see the historical mentions on details pages. 


6. Social media

  • Twitter (public tweets, quoted tweets and retweets only, no favourites)       
  • Facebook (posts on a curated list of public Pages only, no individual page, no group posts and no likes)    
  • Reddit (original posts only, not comments)   
  • Historical data: Google+ - We can no longer pick up mentions from Google+, but you will still see historical mentions on details pages.
  • Historical data: Pinterest - We can no longer pick up mentions from Pinterest, but you will still see historical mentions on details pages.
  • Historical data: LinkedIn groups - LinkedIn have now unfortunately closed their data stream so we are unable to pick up new mentions from this source. You will still see mentions made before the stream was closed.

7. Patent citations

We track patent citations from nine jurisdictions around the world. Patents are a type of intellectual property that are held by either an inventor or a holder. 

Altmetric's patent data comprises nine different jurisdictions:

  1. WO : World Intellectual Property Organization

  2. AU : IP Australia

  3. DE : German Patent and Trade Mark Office

  4. CH : Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property

  5. EP : European Patent Office (EPO)

  6. US : United States Patent and Trademark Office

  7. FR : National Industrial Property Institute

  8. GB : Intellectual Property Office of the United Kingdom

  9. NL : Netherlands Patent Office

8. Other online sources

  • Wikipedia     
  • Sites running Stack Exchange (Q&A)
  • F1000Prime recommendations
  • YouTube 
  • Open Syllabus
  • Citations (Dimensions and Web of Science) - Citations are only available within the Explorer. Web of Science citations require an existing subscription with Clarivate Analytics. 

How do Altmetric collect mentions across each data source?

The table below describes the process for collecting data, update frequency and any additional details across all of our sources.

Source nameCollection methodUpdate frequencyNotes
Twitter                                          Third party data provider APIReal-time feedDemographics, support for retweets, with monitoring of suspicious activity.
FacebookFacebook APIWeeklyPosts on public Facebook Pages only, with prioritised popular Pages.
Policy documentsPDFs collected and scanned from policy sources and repositoriesVaries by policy doc (min monthly updates)Scanning and text-mining policy document PDFs for references, which are looked up in CrossRef/PubMed and resolved to DOIs.
NewsRSS feeds and APIReal-time feedManually curated news sources, with data provided via a third-party provider and RSS feeds direct.
BlogsRSS feedsDailyManually curated list, harvesting links to scholarly content.
MendeleyMendeley APIDailyReader counts is number of readers with the output in their Library. Not included in score.
Post-publication peer reviewsPublons APIDailyPeer review comments collected from item records and associated by unique identifier.
RedditReddit APIDailyIncludes all sub-reddits. Original posts only, no comments.
WikipediaWikipedia APIReal-time feedMentions of scholarly outputs collected from References section. English Wikipedia only.
Q&A (Stack Overflow)Stack Overflow APIDailyScan for links to scholarly outputs.
F1000Prime recommendationsF1000 APIDailyScan for links to scholarly outputs.
YouTubeYouTube APIDailyScan for links to scholarly outputs in video descriptions.
Open SyllabusStatic import from Open SyllabusLast update September 2016Link syllabi's contents to HLOM IDs.
Web of Science Citations    Clarivate Analytics API        Real-time feedCitation counts from peer-reviewed literature. Not included in score. Appear in the Explorer for customers with existing Web of Science subscriptions.
Dimensions CitationsDimensions APIDailyMatch outputs based on scholarly IDs. 
Patent CitationsStatic import from DimensionsLast update October 2018Scanning JSON patent records for links to publications and DOIs.