Altmetric allows altmetrics researchers to use its data for free, for noncommercial research purposes.


This article explains the various formats for accessing Altmetric’s data, links to handy resources for conducting your own altmetrics research with Altmetric data, and explains how you can request access to the data.


We kindly ask that all researchers who study our data attribute Altmetric in their presentations or publications’ Acknowledgements section.


Ways to access Altmetric’s data

We grant access to researchers for noncommercial research purposes. Terms of access are usually granted for 6 months. Researchers seeking access to Altmetric Explorer, our JSON database snapshot file, or high-volume Altmetric Details Page API access must apply to join the Altmetric Researcher Data Access Program (see below for information on how to do so).


If you’re interested in using Altmetric’s data to create institutional or departmental reports or dashboards, please contact us via the form on our Altmetric for Institutions page to inquire about access.


Altmetric Explorer

Altmetric Explorer is a database that enables you to search and filter all of our data. You can run queries on Altmetric’s data in Explorer in the following ways:


  • Journal name(s) or ISSN(s)

  • Output DOIs, PubMed IDs, Arxiv IDs, or other identifiers

  • Keyword search in output title or abstract

  • Publication date ranges

  • Mention dates (fixed to previous 24h, day, three days, month, three months, six months, one year)

  • Publisher name

  • PubMed query

  • Name of the outlet or social media user that has mentioned research


Search results or individual mentions can then be exported in CSV format. 


Altmetric Details Page - Counts Only API

The Altmetric Details Page API allows you to run queries based on:

  • Timeframe (i.e. see all outputs mentioned in the previous 24h, day, three days, month, three months, six months, or one year)

  • Output identifier (e.g. retrieve all metrics for mentions of a particular book by ISBN)


If you want to use the Altmetric Details Page API to pull metrics for all papers in a particular journal, or for all outputs written in a specific discipline, etc, your best approach is to use another service like Dimensions or Web of Science to create a list of outputs you’d like to retrieve data for. Then, you can write a script or use a wrapper (see Resources below) to programmatically call the Altmetric Details Page API for each output, using those outputs’ identifiers. 


We rate limit free API requests, so if you are working without an API key, please limit your calls to no more than 1 per second. If you’d like to make faster API calls, please contact us to apply for the Altmetric Research Data Access Program (info@altmetric.com).


JSON database snapshot file

This dataset is intended for use only by researchers who have extensive experience working programmatically with very large JSON files. It is intended for downloading locally in order to run high volume searches on the entire Altmetric database.


Compressed as a .tar.gz file, the dataset is over 20 GB in size. It is updated at least yearly (the last update was 4 July 2018).


This dataset is the equivalent of making the /fetch call on all of the articles in our database. The format of the JSON file is described on the Altmetric Details Page API documentation


Because the data is contained in a single large file, it is possible to run queries based on journal ISSN, publisher subject area, title or abstract keywords, author names, or other data keys included in /fetch calls.


Note that due to licensing restrictions this data snapshot has had the tweet full-text removed. You can still gather tweet IDs from this dataset to lookup tweets using the Twitter API.


Resources

General

  • Questions about Altmetric’s data collection practices, sources, etc: We describe most of our data collection practices and sources here in the Altmetric Support portal and the Altmetric Details Page API documentation. In the event that these resources do not include the information you seek, we’d be happy to answer your more advanced questions--just drop us a line at support@altmetric.com.

  • Guide to describing Altmetric’s data: Please follow this guide when sharing your study publicly. It includes the proper terminology to use when talking about the Altmetric Attention Score, social media metrics sourced from Altmetric, and more.

  • Altmetric logos: If you wish to include Altmetric logos or branding in a presentation or publication about Altmetric, use these visual resources.

Altmetric Explorer

Altmetric Details Page API

  • The Altmetric Details Page API documentation can be found here. To request an API key to make high-volume free API calls, please email info@altmetric.com.

  • Third-party software packages: Researchers have developed some nice packages for using the Altmetric Details Page API, including rAltmetric (R), PyAltmetric (Python), and altmetric (Ruby). These packages are not developed nor maintained by Altmetric--please contact the packages’ respective owners for more information or to report bugs.

  • Answers to most JSON-related questions can be found on the Q&A site StackOverflow.


Requesting access to Altmetric data

If you’re working on a noncommercial research project on altmetrics, chances are that you’re a great candidate for the Altmetric Researcher Data Access Program! To join the Program, email support@altmetric.com for more information.