Altmetric for Scopus is a powerful 3rd party web application that runs within the sidebar of Scopus article and abstract pages. It's a quick and easy way to see all of the social or mainstream media mentions gathered for a particular paper as well as reader counts on popular reference managers.
The Altmetric application is currently installed for all Scopus users by default (you can choose to disable it if you wish) but will only appear in the sidebar when there is data available for the article that you're currently viewing.
You can usually find it underneath the "Related Documents" box on the right hand side of the screen.
What does Altmetric do?
Altmetric watches social media sites (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+), science blogs, many mainstream media outlets (including the NY Times, The Guardian, non-English language publications like Die Zeit & Le Monde and special interest publications like Scientific American, New Scientist) and reference managers for mentions of academic papers.
It cleans up this data, enriches it and then allows authors, readers and researchers to see it in context.
Though not every article is discussed in public online Altmetric tracks around a hundred thousand mentions a week, with some three thousand new articles seen a day.
Interpreting the data
While running in the sidebar the application tells you three things:
- The Altmetric Attention Score and sources of attention - The number inside the coloured circle is the Altmetric Attention Score for the article you're viewing. This is a quantitative measure of the quality and quantity of attention that the article has received - you can read more about the scoring algorithm here. The colours themselves reflect the mix of sources where the article has been mentioned. For example, some red means that the article has been mentioned by mainstream news outlets, blue means it has been tweeted about.
- In the sources section - here you can see a breakdown of how often the article has been mentioned by each source that Altmetric tracks. The colours here relate to the colours in the score donut. In the example above the article has been mentioned on two different blogs and 299 different Twitter users. Note that the same user could have mentioned the article more than once, which is why the first line is indicating that there are 313 mentions in total from 305 different people / sources.
- Reference manager counts - this area tells you how many readers the article has on Mendeley and how often it has been saved to CiteULike, an online bookmarking service for researchers.
Getting more detail
Click on the "see details" or "open report in new tab" links to see the actual content mentioning this article.
You'll see a details view pop-up. Use the details view to quickly scan through the content mentioning an article and click on any entry to navigate to the original site. Each tab contains mentions from a different source. Note that by default you'll only see the first 25 mentions in each tab.
The Demographics tab will show you a breakdown of where in the world the attention paid to the article is coming from.
Comparing sets of articles and seeing more mentions
If you're interested in tracking social media mentions across the entire output of an institution, publisher or company then you should take a look at Altmetric Explorer, Altmetric's standalone alt-metrics analysis tool.