Altmetric indicators

Altmetric metrics are based on the number of shares, downloads, or mentions of an article on social media, blogs, or newspapers. This gives a broader picture of how a given study is read and discussed. Altmetrics also gives a more direct indication of how to receive an article than citations in publications.

Altmetric symbol

Altmetric developed the donut symbol as a way to visualize mentions of research results. They can be attached to an article, dataset, or other research facility online.

The Altmetric Attention Score in the middle of a donut is the sum of all mentions of research results in sources such as social media, blogs, newspapers, and policy papers. Each source is weighted by the company. For example, news reports get a higher score than tweets.

The colors in the bud reflect the mix of springs. The following sources are monitored for mentions of research findings to provide the most relevant and up-to-date picture of online activity and discussion.



Altmetric works best for articles published after July 2011 and may under-rate older articles.

How to find altmetric data?

Install the free Altmetric tab, to view results for any published DOI test result.

Use Figshare - an open access repository where researchers can store and share their research results, including numerical data, kits data, images and videos. Uploading and accessing content is free of charge, in line with the principle of open data.

Notes on using altmetrics

A large number of shares or mentions on social media does not necessarily mean that the article is of high quality. An article may be listed on social media because it contains something fun or unusual.

Social media is also easily manipulated and "likes" or mentions can be paid for or generated, so the numbers may not reflect the actual level of public interest in the work.