Meeting report: summary of day 1 of the 2018 European ISMPP Meeting

The 2018 European Meeting of the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP) was held in London on 23–24 January and attracted nearly 300 delegates; the highest number of attendees to date. The meeting’s theme was ‘Advancing Medical Publications in a Complex Evidence Ecosystem’ and the agenda centred around data transparency, patient centricity and the future of medical publishing. Delegates were treated to two keynote addresses, lively panel discussions, interactive roundtables and parallel sessions, and also had the chance to present their own research in a poster session. Continue reading “Meeting report: summary of day 1 of the 2018 European ISMPP Meeting”

Altmetric-supported research: 2017 in review

2017 saw an explosive growth in the number of researchers investigating Altmetric’s data, with some pretty cool results! Thanks to the 30+ publications, presentations, and theses/dissertations that researchers have released, we’ve learned (among many other things) that:

  • The percentage of research discussed online doubled between 2011 and 2015;
  • For ornithology research, higher Altmetric Attention Scores are correlated with a 112% increase in citation rate; and
  • In chemistry, publishing Open Access leads to more online attention for female authors

Here are some of the many Open Access* research outputs resulting from studies published on our data this year. Continue reading “Altmetric-supported research: 2017 in review”

Academic journals with a presence on Twitter are more widely disseminated and receive a higher number of citations

Previous research has shown that researchers’ active participation on Twitter can be a powerful way of promoting and disseminating academic outputs and improving the prospects of increased citations. But does the same hold true for the presence of academic journals on Twitter? José Luis Ortega examined the role of 350 scholarly journals, analysing how their articles were tweeted and cited. Findings reveal that articles from those journals that have their own individual Twitter handle are more tweeted about than articles from journals whose only Twitter presence is through a scientific society or publisher account. Articles published in journals with any sort of Twitter presence also receive more citations than those published in journals with no Twitter presence.

Tracking new attention to older publications

While altmetrics are often praised for their ability to show attention in “real time”, to complement traditional citations that tend to take a few years to accrue, they also have the ability to surface attention to older publications. For example, the frighteningly titled “Occurrence of virulent anthrax bacilli in cheap shaving brushes” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1921 received news attention in 2017.

Continue reading “Tracking new attention to older publications”

“The feels” – Sentiment analysis for altmetrics

One of the central aspects of what we do at Altmetric is processing and subsequently storing large quantities of data, whether we are talking about publication meta-data or online attention, in its various formats (news, Facebook or Twitter posts, etc). This allows us to occasionally have a bit of fun in doing  our own research to test assumptions and hypotheses that we or others may hold.

Continue reading ““The feels” – Sentiment analysis for altmetrics”

Behind the scenes: Product development at Altmetric

I’m what you might call an Altmetric veteran. I joined the company in 2012, first as a writer for this Altmetric Blog and data analyst. (Somehow, my 2013 post “The Numbers Behind #icanhazpdf” still ranks as one of the most visited on our site!) As one of the first employees at Altmetric, I had the opportunity to be involved in quite a few different parts of the business, including data curation (adding news outlets, blogs, and policy sources), customer support, and marketing. My first few years at the company taught me a lot about what it takes to build a startup and gain traction in new markets. Continue reading “Behind the scenes: Product development at Altmetric”

The Top 25 articles for May 2017 ranked by attention

At today’s GEN Summit 2017 in Vienna media research company Kaleida released its first Attention Score ranking of English-language news sources. The data is based on the open source Attention Index algorithm from Kaleida previewed for the first time this week.

Source: Kaleida’s Attention Index, June 2017

CNN topped the list with the article “The House just passed a bill that affects overtime pay” on May 4th by Julia Horowitz . The article was promoted on CNN’s home page for 33 hours which has an Alexa Rank of 105, and it was pushed via CNN’s brand page on Facebook with 27,386,540 followers. Facebook reported 85,276 engagements for the article.

Other major news stories included articles about Macron and the French Election, James Comey, and US healthcare.

The rankings were derived from data about 128,000 articles published by major US and UK publishers in May 2017. The data, methodology and algorithm are all available and open for reuse under a Creative commons license at:

About The Attention Index. The Attention Index is a proposed open standard for measuring premium media. It was developed by Kaleida, a media research and data company based in the UK. The data, algorithm and methodology are publicly available with a Creative Commons license.

About GEN Summit 2017. The Global Editors Network is a cross-platform community of editors-in-chief and media innovators committed to sustainable, high-quality journalism, empowering newsrooms through a variety of programmes designed to inspire, connect and share. The GEN Summit 2017 is gathering over 750 editors-in-chief and media innovators from over 70 countries

The Top 25 articles for May 2017 ranked by attention was originally published in Global Editors Network on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

‘How do scholarly citations in Wikipedia appear?’ Dr Evan Goldstein introduces his project

On the 24th May we announced that Dr Evan Goldstein, Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was the winner of this year’s Altmetric Research Grant. Here’s Evan’s take on the project he hopes to complete with his awarded funds…

As a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA), most of my work is centered around geomorphology (predicting changes on Earth’s surface). Recently I have also focused on how Earth Scientists communicate with each other and the public on social media and across the Web. Much of my preliminary work appears on my blog and formed the basis for my Altmetric research grant proposal — investigating how scholarly citations in Wikipedia appear. My proposal is motivated by my own personal experience. I have edited Wikipedia to include references to my own articles (in addition to references to other articles that I did not write), and I have wondered how citations to scholarly literature in Wikipedia are generated (i.e., are most mentions generated by journal article authors?).

To address this question I will be focusing my effort on the >33,000 article corpus from the high impact, high volume (>1000 articles/year) Earth science journal ‘Geophysical Research Letters’ (GRL), a society journal of the American Geophysical Union. GRL is well represented on Social media and across Web (for an Earth Science journal), for example, most articles are mentioned on Twitter, and many are mentioned multiple times. Earlier this year I looked at the Wikipedia mentions for GRL articles published through 2015 using the DOI records for GRL articles (through 2015; downloaded form the Web of Science) and Wikipedia mentions from Altmetric retrieved using the rAltmetric package created by rOpenSci. In total there were more than 1000 GRL mentions on Wikipedia. The figure below is a plot of the number of Wikipedia mentions for GRL articles published in a given year.


For my Altmetric research grant, I intend to use an expanded version of the data in this plot to answer three linked questions. First, I will investigate what percent of Wikipedia citations of GRL articles can be traced to the GRL article authors. Second, I will determine when mentions in Wikipedia occur relative to article publication. Third, I intend to examine specific Wikipedia edits to determine the number of words added and if editors tend to add a single or multiple citations.

My enthusiasm for this research topic is also rooted in my belief that Wikipedia represents a mechanism for scientists to engage with a wide audience. Since Wikipedia is one of the largest websites in terms of global web traffic, it represents an opportunity for researchers to provide long lasting outreach and engagement with both academic and non-academic audiences. As an example, page views for geomorphology articles on Wikipedia are much larger than page views to my own scientific articles. Yet for many of the critical Earth and Space science journals, papers are only rarely mentioned on Wikipedia, even with the growing call for academics to edit and engage with Wikipedia (e.g. Logan et al., 2007; Bateman and Logan, 2010; Bond, 2011; Mandler, 2016; Goldstein, 2017).

I look forward to pursing this research and sharing the results over the coming months and would like to thank Altmetric for the support.

Advocacy and Engagement: Guidance for Integrating Altmetric Data into the Research Lifecycle

The following guest post was written by Lily Troia, Engagement Manager at Altmetric.

Altmetrics offer researchers and organizations powerful insights into conversations happening around scholarship, yet achieving widespread adoption of altmetrics, especially at academic institutions, can often feel like a Sisyphean endeavor. Much like advocating for any new digital tool, approach, or culture shift, advocating for use of altmetrics requires a concerted, yet reflexive approach, strategic communication and outreach, and above all, alignment with organizational mission and vision.

‘Much like advocating for any new digital tool, approach, or culture shift, advocating for use of altmetrics requires a concerted, yet reflexive approach, strategic communication and outreach, and above all, alignment with organizational mission and vision.’

In my work as a digital scholarship librarian, I (somewhat organically) developed a “rubric” for advocacy in support of the research process. This rubric has come in handy when encouraging consistent research data management practices, advising (in a non-legal sense, of course) on copyright and content licensing, advancing open practices and publishing, and promoting diverse voices in curation and preservation. While each endeavour necessitates nuance and unique strategies, advocating for altmetrics similarly demands a deep engagement with researchers and other academic community members, and should seek to enlist all stakeholders as advocates for a more dynamic scholarly metrics paradigm.

Now as Engagement Manager with Altmetric, I am able to share my experiences and iterative framework with librarians and other Altmetric advocates, and champion their efforts to address outdated aspects of and inefficiencies in scholarly communication. Inclusion of altmetrics in the research lifecycle is one crucial development influencing the direction of scholarship and academia, and fueling an evolution sparked by the myriad capabilities inherent to a digital, networked environment.

‘Inclusion of altmetrics in the research lifecycle is one crucial development influencing the direction of scholarship and academia, and fueling an evolution sparked by the myriad capabilities inherent to a digital, networked environment.’

The seeds of my advocacy rubric were sown prior to my librarian career, traceable to my earliest activist days campaigning for HIV/AIDS awareness in grammar school and organizing Take Back the Night rallies in college; present in previous positions as a social services employment counselor and as a human rights legal intern–and even my ethnomusicology studies where I struggled to balance the role of observer with a recognition that cultural analysis is never neutral. But in truth, my present methodology for advocacy is rooted in experience I garnered launching and successfully running my own music production and project management firm. My approach is almost embarrassingly simple, and, by definition, is customizable to different audiences and different needs, centering around thoughtful, adaptive engagement.


Putting the rubric into action

When tasked with rolling out Altmetric at an institution, it’s critical you design your launch with the goals and culture of your organization close in mind. Who will be using Altmetric data? What channels of attention are most important to those in your institution? How does your organization currently define and reward impact? What are your stakeholders’ expectations surrounding Altmetric data; and, what, if any, misconceptions might they have?

While these questions should direct development of your Altmetric adoption and advocacy plan, the following ideas are intended help guide your project management process, and support a sustainable program beyond the initial roll-out:

1. Be collaborative and attentive, and keep the researcher at the center of altmetrics conversations.

It may be your Communications Department is eager to use Altmetric data, or key administrators with purchasing power–but if researchers are not engaged with Altmetric data, you will likely struggle with increased or continued adoption, let alone encourage broader cultural shifts across and beyond your institution.

Listen to researchers! When advising on research data management practices I always began by asking questions and listening to researchers describe their processes, and share the concerns of most importance to them. In terms of altmetrics these questions could include:

  • What audiences are they most interested in reaching?
  • Where do they go to find out about important research?
  • What sort of collaborations might be beneficial to their research?
  • What do they view as measures of impact in their field? Is this citations? Lives saved? Discoveries made? Policies influenced?

Find out why they chose a career path in research. Most researchers need to advance their careers, but were they originally compelled by a desire to advance knowledge and/or help humankind? The more we support researchers in connecting back to their fundamental scholarly mission, the greater the potential to shake up traditional frameworks for promotion and valuations of ‘influence.’

‘The more we support researchers in connecting back to their fundamental scholarly mission, the greater the potential to shake up traditional frameworks for promotion and valuations of ‘influence.’’

2. Prioritize adaptive, personalized relationship-building.

Advocacy seldom works in a one-size-fits-all package. If efforts are not having the desired effect, how can we adjust our tactics? Variances across disciplines and departments are vast — different data points will be valuable to different groups. Researchers might be interested in reference manager data or F1000 mentions. Directors may be focused on reputation management or Wikipedia citations.

Tailor messaging to meet the audience, and customize avenues for outreach that put information in the locations and sources they trust and refer to regularly. When working on a new APC pilot in a previous academic library position, our Scholarly Communications Committee decided to advertise the program at the monthly Student Journal Club. Is there a Graduate Student Research Symposium you can table? A newsletter or or external blog to which you can contribute? Reach out directly to specific departments or programs at your institution–Altmetric data can inform collection development, tenure and promotion, review and recruitment. Initiate conversations with different groups and document their varied approaches to impact analysis and research communication.

Target altmetrics supporters among well-respected faculty or established researchers, or even alumni–and actively engage with early-career researchers, lab support, and undergraduates. Enlist these parties as Altmetric advocates, and provide them with opportunities to establish community and expand conversation via listservs or digital discussion groups, and on-campus meet-ups or learning opportunities. In turn, Altmetric Explorer can unearth high profile mentions of your institution’s research and unique examples of impact: use this data as an opening to approach an author about becoming an advocate for altmetrics.

Always seek ways to partner with other groups and departments involved in the research process, or attuned to sharing scholarship outside of traditional publication forums and in non-traditional formats. Altmetric advocacy will benefit when allies represent an array of stakeholders, such as:

    • Liaison/subject librarians
    • Metadata librarians
    • Digital humanities scholars and centers
    • E-learning offices /extension schools/continuing education
    • Communications and marketing departments
    • Research services and grant support
    • Archives, special collections, digital libraries
    • Lab and research assistants, fellows and interns
    • University publishers/press, student groups producing, publishing, or archiving historical or learning materials

Of course, institutional support is paramount to the success of any program or project. Support requires engagement. The type and level of engagement you foster with department heads or provosts will be different from interactions with researchers or other librarians, but providing actionable insights versus static information is vital to enlisting support across your institution. As mentioned, debunk myths with clear messages. For example, Altmetric data reflects more than social media, show this in action by highlighting a news mention or policy citation in an internal email or report, or feature Altmetric info in press releases and other web content. Need help developing materials that speak to your constituencies and their concerns, and engage them as advocates? Check out the resources on our Solutions page, or reach out to me and we can brainstorm together!

It’s also useful to nurture relationships with the broader altmetrics community, and explore partnerships with vendors and publishers. I meet and train different groups within the scholarly lifecycle–from society journal editors, to cancer research funders, to governmental think tanks–many parties are interested in discussing and elevating the role of altmetrics, and specifically, engaging with authors and researchers in this arena. Altmetrics offers a climate ripe for collaboration.

3. Stay positive and proactive.

Look for opportunities to engage rather than waiting for inquiries to come your way. Altmetrics might traditionally be viewed as the realm of evaluation and assessment, but they also provide data useful at the outset of the research process. Altmetric data can help inform decisions around where to publish, with whom to collaborate, and uncover timely conversations that could potentially influence the direction of research itself. Encourage those at your institution eligible for Altmetric Explorer accounts to interact with Altmetric data directly, showing them how to customize and save searches and set alerts. Provide examples and templates for incorporating Altmetrics into CVs, grant proposals, and online scholarly profiles.

Researchers are undoubtedly busy, but respect for their time constraints shouldn’t foment artificial barriers that keep researchers from understanding the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ behind a nuanced relationship with altmetrics. While we want to diminish challenges impeding Altmetric adoption, we also want to empower others versus simply delivering them data. This approach can extend beyond the “lead a horse to water” adage: why not suggest a collaborative research project with a scholar that looks at altmetrics in their discipline? In order for various stakeholders to become advocates, they must experience the value (and limitations) of Altmetric data firsthand.

4. Foster inclusive, globally representative scholarly communication.

Altmetric data reminds us that scholarship lives well beyond the .pdf. Today research takes many forms–datasets, clinical trial records, learning materials, annotations–as librarians we have the opportunity to elevate non-traditional outputs and publications. In addition, Altmetric data can reveal important conversations happening far outside conventional academic ivory towers. Altmetrics gives us the opportunity to highlight impactful discussions, and share influential research that might be lacking in citations, but is being used in the classroom, or cited in policy.

We also have a duty to analyze demographic data around research attention, and align our communication and dissemination planning with an academic vision that supports the furtherance of knowledge and equitable access to information. Scholarship flourishes when it is infused with diverse perspectives and marginalized voices, and embraces a critical lens with respect to its pedagogy and organizing structures. Advocates for altmetrics envision a reflexive, malleable research ecosystem that embraces the wide-reaching potential of dynamic digital media, and incentivizes innovation, collaboration, and global impact. This might be deemed a lofty vision, but if we can inspire broad engagement across the research community, it’s a future within reach.

‘Advocates for altmetrics envision a reflexive, malleable research ecosystem that embraces the wide-reaching potential of dynamic digital media, and incentivizes innovation, collaboration, and global impact.’

Hopefully I’ve offered some fodder for thought, and tangible ideas you can take back to your institution. Please reach out with any questions or feedback–the altmetrics movement grows because of contributions from folks like you!

Webinar on Altmetrics for Publishers: The Basics


Join Altmetric for an introductory webinar covering the basics of altmetrics and the tools and data that Altmetric offer. Find out how publishers can use Altmetric data to help shape strategy and meet objectives like the following:

  • Track and report on the engagement surrounding their content
  • Provide real-time feedback to authors and editors
  • Identify sales opportunities
  • Measure the success of marketing and PR efforts
  • Benchmark against competitors
  • Inform the scope and development of existing and new publications

Attendees will leave the webinar with:

  • A clear understanding of what altmetrics are and what tools and data are available
  • Examples of how the data can be used in practice
  • Guidance on the technological requirements to gather altmetrics for your publications
  • Advice on getting started

Book your place today!

For an overview of Altmetric, watch Altmetric’s Ben Mcleish give a presentation about Altmetric and its data.


The post Webinar on Altmetrics for Publishers: The Basics appeared first on Digital Science.

A system that prioritises publications means early career researchers’ scholarly attitudes and behaviours remain conservative

Early career researchers (ECRs) are the largest community of researchers but despite this we know little about their scholarly attitudes and behaviours. Reporting the first-year findings of a longitudinal study of an international panel of ECRs, Dave Nicholas reveals that many remain conservative in their scholarly attitudes and practices. ECRs are concerned by “risky” open peer review, regard archiving their work in repositories as a non-priority, and display little interest in open science or altmetrics. Many ECRs see opportunities for change, but do not feel able to grasp them as they are shackled to a reputational system that promotes publication record and citation scores above all else.

Read full post

This blog post is based on the author’s co-written article, “Early career researchers: Scholarly behaviour and the prospect of change”, published in Learned Publishing (DOI: 10.1002/leap.1098).

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