Altmetric tracks Twitter attention in real-time via an API. We automatically collect tweets, retweets, and quoted tweets that contain a direct link to a scholarly output. Without the direct link to an output, our system will not be able to match the tweet with the appropriate output.


Altmetric does not track tweets that contain links to news stories or blog posts about scholarly outputs (e.g a tweet of a news story about a journal article). These are considered "second-order citations", as they are mentions of attention about the output and rather than the output itself. 


The Twitter tab on an Altmetric Details Page


On an Altmetric Details Page, as in the example below, tweets are listed by time of publication in descending order, with the most recent ones available at the top of the page. You can see who tweeted about the research output, the content of the tweet and reply, retweet and favourite from within the details page.


You can see tweets under the "Twitter" tab on the Details Page, they also appear as a light blue in the Altmetric donut.


Twitter demographics


Altmetric categorizes users from Twitter based on their posting history and profile information, using data directly sent by Twitter. Where these data are available on a Twitter profile, users' category and geolocation data are included in the Demographics tab of the Details Pages.


To compile a table of Twitter demographics, we look at keywords in profile descriptions, the types of journals that users link to, and follower lists to assign each profile a category:

  • Member of the public - somebody who doesn't link to scholarly literature and doesn't otherwise fit any of the categories below

  • Researcher - somebody who is familiar with the literature

  • Practitioner - a clinician, or researcher who is working in clinical science

  • Science communicator - somebody who links frequently to scientific articles from a variety of different journals / publishers



For our latest update regarding recent developments at Twitter please see our post here