How do Altmetric curate policy sources?

Altmetric curates policy sources that are designed to change or otherwise influence guidelines, policy or practice. 


Tracked policy sources and document types range from government guidelines, reports or white papers; independent policy institute publications; advisory committees on specific topics; research institutes; and international development organisations. 


We aim to curate a broad scope of policy sources from organisations around the world and cover topics from climate change to health, transport and economics. Policy sources are largely collected directly from organisations' publications websites and are updated regularly.

How do Altmetric extract references to research outputs from policy documents?

Altmetric tracks attention to a broad range of policy sources and collects sources directly from organisational websites. Policy documents are searched for mentions via both link searching, identifier analysis and text mining. 

We then retrieve PDFs and basic metadata for each document and match the document with a research output. For Journal articles, we also use text mining to match a mention from a policy document with a research output.

Do policy mentions contribute to the score?

Yes. Mentions in policy documents are scored per source. A mention of a research output in a policy document has a default score contribution of 3. This means that if an output is mentioned in more than one policy document from the same policy source (e.g., the score would increase by 3. However, if an output is mentioned in two policy documents from two different policy sources (e.g. and the International Monetary Fund) the score would increase by 6. 

Policy tab on an Altmetric Details Page

On an Altmetric Details Page, the Policy tab lists mentions by time of publication in descending order, with the most recent ones available at the top of the page. The policy mentions appear as bright purple in the Altmetric donut.