Altmetrics analysis of selected articles in the field of social sciences | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This study aims to measure the impact of the selected papers in the field of social sciences indexed in Scopus using altmetrics tools.


The research community consists of the articles of the Iranian researchers in the field of social sciences indexed in the Scopus database in 2014–2018. Some of the most important altmetric service providers have been used to assess the presence of the research outputs in the social media and their impact assessment. Also, the relationship between variables such as scientific collaboration of researchers, open access journals and the quality of research journals with altmetric activity have been investigated through appropriate correlation tests.


The findings indicated that the most important social media publishing Iranian articles are Mendeley, Twitter and Facebook. The results of the correlation test showed a statistically significant positive and weak relationship between the scientific collaboration of researchers and their altmetric activity. Also, there is a significant and weak statistical relation between journal openness and the altmetric scores. In this study, the findings suggest that the published articles in the journals with higher quality indicators have higher altmetric scores and are more likely to be present in social media.

Research implications

In this study, the social network indicators have been introduced as a solution to examine the effectiveness of research activities on social media. These indicators can be used to evaluate the impact and usefulness of the articles and other scientific outputs with the aim of completing and eliminating the shortcomings of traditional scientometrics indicators. What distinguishes altmetric criteria from other criteria related to the scientometric studies is the speed, ease and transparency of these scales. This allows the publications to be evaluated regardless of their formal form and in the shortest possible time, and in addition to the scientific impact, the social impact of the works is also measured.


The results of these studies show that using altmetric service providers not only reflects the social impact of publications on authors in different subject areas but also helps libraries, universities, research organizations and politicians in planning, budgeting and allocating resources.

Altmetrics and their relationship with citation counts: a case of journal articles in physics | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The first purpose of the present study is to investigate the coverage of journal articles in Physics in various sources of altmetrics. Secondly, the study investigates the relationship between altmetrics and citations. Finally, the study also investigates whether the relationship between citations and altmetrics was stronger or weaker for those articles that had been mentioned at least once in the sources of altmetrics.


The journal articles in Physics having at least one author from an Indian Institution and published during 2014–2018 in sources of altmetrics have been investigated. was used for collecting altmetrics data. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (?) has been used as the data found to be skewed.


The highest coverage was found on Twitter (22.68%), followed by Facebook (3.62%) and blogs (2.18%). The coverage in the rest of the sources was less than 1%. The average Twitter mentions for journal articles tweeted at least once was found to be 4 (3.99) and for Facebook mentions, it was found to be 1.48. Correlations between Twitter mentions–citations and Facebook mentions–citation were found to be statistically significant but low to weak positive.

Research limitations/implications

The study concludes that due to the low coverage of journal articles, altmetrics should be used cautiously for research evaluation keeping in mind the disciplinary differences. The study also suggests that altmetrics can function as complementary to citation-based metrics.


The study is one of the first large scale altmetrics studies dealing with research in Physics. Also, Indian research has not been attended to in the altmetrics literature and the present study shall fill that void.

How can altmetrics improve the Public Communication of Science and Technology? An analysis on universities and altmetrics

Abstract:  In current research evaluation models, monitoring and impact evaluation are extended beyond peer-reviewed articles to include Public Communication of Science and Technology activities. Through an online survey, we analyzed the perceptions of relevance and degree of application of the altmetric indicators for the PCST of 51 sampled Brazilian federal universities. Perceptions of relevance and application of altmetrics proved to be an outlier in 26 indicators. 66.7% of respondents said they did not know the relevance of altmetrics for the PCST or considered it not applicable to the field. Regarding the perception of relevance, the indicator “Mentions tracked by altmetrics” received high relevance scores (7 and 9) from 21.5% of respondents. The indicator was also the least applied, with only one university (1.9%) using it. In addition, 45% of respondents reported having no intention of applying it, 41.1% intend to apply it in the long term, and 11.7% in the short term.

ACS Environmental Au?How to Improve the Reach of Your Open Access Research | ACS Environmental Au

“Researchers at universities and other organizations are increasingly expected to demonstrate not only the scholarly impact of their research but also to show that the research has a broader reach and societal impact. Various metrics measure the impact of a research article. Many researchers are accustomed to assessing the impact of their articles by counting the number of citations after publication using online databases. While the number of citations provides one measure of the scholarly impact of an article, it does not necessarily provide information on whether the article is reaching a wider audience.

An additional metric available in ACS Environmental Au and all ACS journals is the Altmetric score. The web page for articles in ACS Environmental Au displays the number of “Article Views,” which is the total number of full-text article downloads (both PDF and HTML) across all institutions and individuals, the Altmetric score, and the number of citations since the publication of the article. The full-text article download number itself is a key indicator of the growing influence of an article. The Altmetric score records the attention an article has received online by measuring the number of times an article is reported in news outlets and articles, commented on in blogs, posted on social media (generally Twitter and Reddit), saved in reference managers such as Mendeley, or listed in an online encyclopedia (Wikipedia). An overall score is attributed to each article based on these measures. The makeup of the score is revealed by clicking on the Altmetric score or “doughnut” on the article web page….”

[2304.05157] The Many Publics of Science: Using Altmetrics to Identify Common Communication Channels by Scientific field

Abstract:  Altmetrics have led to new quantitative studies of science through social media interactions. However, there are no models of science communication that respond to the multiplicity of non-academic channels. Using the 3653 authors with the highest volume of altmetrics mentions from the main channels (Twitter, News, Facebook, Wikipedia, Blog, Policy documents, and Peer reviews) to their publications (2016-2020), it has been analyzed where the audiences of each discipline are located. The results evidence the generalities and specificities of these new communication models and the differences between areas. These findings are useful for the development of science communication policies and strategies.


Second-order Citations in Altmetrics: A Case Study Analyzing the Audiences of COVID-19 Research in the News and on Social Media | bioRxiv

Abstract:  The potential to capture the societal impact of research has been a driving motivation for the use and development of altmetrics. Yet, to date, altmetrics have largely failed to deliver on this potential because the primary audience who cites research on social media has been shown to be academics themselves. In response, our study investigates an extension of traditional altmetric approaches that goes beyond capturing direct mentions of research on social media. Using research articles from the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study, we demonstrate the value of measuring ‘second-order citations,’ or social media mentions of news coverage of research. We find that a sample of these citations, published by just five media outlets, were shared and engaged with on social media twice as much as the research articles themselves. Moreover, first-order and second-order citations circulated among Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts that were largely distinct from each other. The differences in audiences and engagement patterns found in this case study highlight the importance of news coverage as a public source of science information and provide strong evidence that investigating these second-order citations can be an effective way of observing non-academic audiences that engage with research content.


Towards a better understanding of Facebook Altmetrics in LIS field: assessing the characteristics of involved paper, user and post | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Facebook mentions to scholarly papers have provided a novel way for reflecting and measuring the process of informal scientific communication. To uncover the underlying mechanism of Facebook Altmetrics, it is essential to investigate characteristics of its contextual data. Take library and information science papers for empirical study, three categories of contextual data were gathered, namely data of mentioned LIS papers, data of Facebook users and data of Facebook post. Hybrid methods including statistical analysis, content analysis and visualization analysis were adopted to analyze the data. Results show that: (1) Positive open access status and active Facebook account would help get scholarly paper mentioned but would not boost the number of Facebook mentions. Number of citations, number of collaborative institutions, and number of collaborative countries showed a significantly positive correlation with the number of Facebook mentions. Health information management was identified to be the most mentioned research topic while bibliometrics and scientific evaluation has received on average the highest number of Facebook mentions. (2) Scientific Facebook users that mention LIS papers were widely scattered geographically but dominated by USA, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Australia. Institutional users (89%) and academic users (84%) are prevailing, especially universities (14%), research institutes (12%), libraries (11%), academic associations (9%) and commercial organizations (8%). (3) Most scientific Facebook posts were relatively short, while the language distribution was less skewed than that of scientific tweets. The post content is mostly a combination of text, links, and pictures and with neutral sentiment. Different types of users have demonstrated significantly different style of content and concerned topics. These findings indicate that Facebook mentions to LIS papers mainly reflect the institutional level advocacy and attention, with low level of engagement, and could be influenced by several features including collaborative patterns and research topics.


Twitter turbulences and their impact on Altmetric… · Open Access @ Strathclyde

“So the most likely explanation one is able to fathom is that the ‘Twitter crisis’ may be hitting services largely based on social media impact. It’s not just that the desertion of large swathes of very active communicators in the scholarly comms domain to Mastodon has dried up the references (tweets) that should be there for Altmetric to catch. It’s – presumably – also that such a hit to the information-gathering workflow and to its associated business model has somehow rendered the Altmetric snapshot unreliable. The impact of this paper a week after release has surely been higher than 17 (as of Mar 21st, screenshot posted at the top)….”

Promoting Publications Through Plastic Surgery Journal Insta… : Annals of Plastic Surgery

Abstract:  Purpose 

Journals are increasingly using social media to increase article engagement. We aim to determine the impact of Instagram promotion on, and identify social media tools that effectively enhance, plastic surgery article engagement and impact.


Instagram accounts for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery were reviewed for posts published by February 8, 2022. Open access journal articles were excluded. Post caption word count and number of likes, tagged accounts, and hashtags were recorded. Inclusion of videos, article links, or author introductions was noted. All articles from journal issues published between the dates of the first and last posts promoting articles were reviewed. Altmetric data approximated article engagement. Citation numbers from the National Institutes of Health iCite tool approximated impact. Differences in engagement and impact of articles with and without Instagram promotion were compared by Mann-Whitney U tests. Univariate and multivariable regressions identified factors predictive of more engagement (Altmetric Attention Score, ?5) and citations (?7).


A total of 5037 articles were included, with 675 (13.4%) promoted on Instagram. Of posts featuring articles, 274 (40.6%) included videos, 469 (69.5%) included article links, and 123 included (18.2%) author introductions. Promoted articles had higher median Altmetric Attention Scores and citations (P < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, using more hashtags predicted higher article Altmetric Attention Scores (odds ratio [OR], 1.85; P = 0.002) and more citations (OR, 1.90; P < 0.001). Including article links (OR, 3.52; P < 0.001) and tagging more accounts (OR, 1.64; P = 0.022) predicted higher Altmetric Attention Scores. Including author introductions negatively predicted Altmetric Attention Scores (OR, 0.46; P < 0.001) and citations (OR, 0.65; P = 0.047). Caption word count had no significant impact on article engagement or impact.


Instagram promotion increases plastic surgery article engagement and impact. Journals should use more hashtags, tag more accounts, and include manuscript links to increase article metrics. We recommend that authors promote on journal social media to maximize article reach, engagement, and citations, which positively impacts research productivity with minimal additional effort in designing Instagram content.

Do altmetric scores reflect article quality? Evidence from the UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 – Thelwall – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Altmetrics are web-based quantitative impact or attention indicators for academic articles that have been proposed to supplement citation counts. This article reports the first assessment of the extent to which mature altmetrics from and Mendeley associate with individual article quality scores. It exploits expert norm-referenced peer review scores from the UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 for 67,030+ journal articles in all fields 2014–2017/2018, split into 34 broadly field-based Units of Assessment (UoAs). Altmetrics correlated more strongly with research quality than previously found, although less strongly than raw and field normalized Scopus citation counts. Surprisingly, field normalizing citation counts can reduce their strength as a quality indicator for articles in a single field. For most UoAs, Mendeley reader counts are the best altmetric (e.g., three Spearman correlations with quality scores above 0.5), tweet counts are also a moderate strength indicator in eight UoAs (Spearman correlations with quality scores above 0.3), ahead of news (eight correlations above 0.3, but generally weaker), blogs (five correlations above 0.3), and Facebook (three correlations above 0.3) citations, at least in the United Kingdom. In general, altmetrics are the strongest indicators of research quality in the health and physical sciences and weakest in the arts and humanities.

Characterization and Reach of Orthopaedic Research Posted to Preprint Servers: Are We “Undercooking” Our Science?

Abstract:  Background 

Although biomedical preprint servers have grown rapidly over the past several years, the harm to patient health and safety remains a major concern among several scientific communities. Despite previous studies examining the role of preprints during the Coronavirus-19 pandemic, there is limited information characterizing their impact on scientific communication in orthopaedic surgery.


(1) What are the characteristics (subspecialty, study design, geographic origin, and proportion of publications) of orthopaedic articles on three preprint servers? (2) What are the citation counts, abstract views, tweets, and Altmetric score per preprinted article and per corresponding publication?


Three of the largest preprint servers (medRxiv, bioRxiv, and Research Square) with a focus on biomedical topics were queried for all preprinted articles published between July 26, 2014, and September 1, 2021, using the following search terms: “orthopaedic,” “orthopedic,” “bone,” “cartilage,” “ligament,” “tendon,” “fracture,” “dislocation,” “hand,” “wrist,” “elbow,” “shoulder,” “spine,” “spinal,” “hip,” “knee,” “ankle,” and “foot.” Full-text articles in English related to orthopaedic surgery were included, while nonclinical studies, animal studies, duplicate studies, editorials, abstracts from conferences, and commentaries were excluded. A total of 1471 unique preprints were included and further characterized in terms of the orthopaedic subspecialty, study design, date posted, and geographic factors. Citation counts, abstract views, tweets, and Altmetric scores were collected for each preprinted article and the corresponding publication of that preprint in an accepting journal. We ascertained whether a preprinted article was published by searching title keywords and the corresponding author in three peer-reviewed article databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, and Dimensions) and confirming that the study design and research question matched.


The number of orthopaedic preprints increased from four in 2017 to 838 in 2020. The most common orthopaedic subspecialties represented were spine, knee, and hip. From 2017 to 2020, the cumulative counts of preprinted article citations, abstract views, and Altmetric scores increased. A corresponding publication was identified in 52% (762 of 1471) of preprints. As would be expected, because preprinting is a form of redundant publication, published articles that are also preprinted saw greater abstract views, citations, and Altmetric scores on a per-article basis.


Although preprints remain an extremely small proportion of all orthopaedic research, our findings suggest that nonpeer-reviewed, preprinted orthopaedic articles are being increasingly disseminated. These preprinted articles have a smaller academic and public footprint than their published counterparts, but they still reach a substantial audience through infrequent and superficial online interactions, which are far from equivalent to the engagement facilitated by peer review. Furthermore, the sequence of preprint posting and journal submission, acceptance, and publication is unclear based on the information available on these preprint servers. Thus, it is difficult to determine whether the metrics of preprinted articles are attributable to preprinting, and studies such as the present analysis will tend to overestimate the apparent impact of preprinting. Despite the potential for preprint servers to function as a venue for thoughtful feedback on research ideas, the available metrics data for these preprinted articles do not demonstrate the meaningful engagement that is achieved by peer review in terms of the frequency or depth of audience feedback.

Clinical Relevance 

Our findings highlight the need for safeguards to regulate research dissemination through preprint media, which has never been shown to benefit patients and should not be considered as evidence by clinicians. Clinician-scientists and researchers have the most important responsibility of protecting patients from the harm of potentially inaccurate biomedical science and therefore must prioritize patient needs first by uncovering scientific truths through the evidence-based processes of peer review, not preprinting. We recommend all journals publishing clinical research adopt the same policy as Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®, The Bone & Joint Journal, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, removing any papers posted to preprint servers from consideration.

Assessing Open Access Friendliness of National Institutes of Technology (NITs) A Data Carpentry Approach | DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 2022-10

“Abstract: This research study aims to measure the Open Access (OA) friendliness of National Institutes of Technology (NITs) of India that are listed in the overall category of NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework), 2021 by taking into consideration four important OA parameters – i) OA publication share; ii) OA licensing scenario; iii) citation impact of OA publications; and iv) altmetric scores of OA publications. It deals with 64,485 publications of the selected 11 NITs during the period from 2012 to 2021 (10 years), citations received by these publications (5,42,638 citations), and altmetric attention scores of the documents (5,213 publications) during the period under study. A data carpentry tool, namely OpenRefine, and open access bibliographic/citation data sources such as Unpaywall, Dimensions, and have been deployed to accomplish this large-scale study for ranking NITs by their Open Access Friendliness (OAF). The OAF indicator, as applied in this study, is a distributed weightage based 100-point scale built on top of the aforesaid OA parameters. The ranking framework shows that Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, Surat (est. in 1961) has achieved the top position with a score of 52.12 (out of 100), but in totality only 3 NITs (out of the selected 11 NITs) crossed the 50 per cent mark in the adapted OAF scale.”

Roy, A., & Mukhopadhyay, P. (2022). Assessing Open Access Friendliness of National Institutes of Technology (NITs) A Data Carpentry Approach. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 42(5), 331-338.

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow: five altmetric sources observed over a decade show evolving trends, by research age, attention source maturity and open access status | SpringerLink

The study of temporal trends in altmetrics is under-developed, and this multi-year observation study addresses some of the deficits in our understanding of altmetric behaviour over time. The attention surrounding research outputs, as partially captured by altmetrics, or alternative metrics, constitutes many varied forms of data. Over the years 2008–2013, a set of 7739 papers were sampled on six occasions. Five altmetric data sources were recorded (Twitter, Mendeley, News, Blogs and Policy) and analysed for temporal trends, with particular attention being paid to their Open Access status and discipline. Twitter attention both starts and ends quickly. Mendeley readers accumulate quickly, and continue to grow over the following years. News and blog attention is quick to start, although news attention persists over a longer timeframe. Citations in policy documents are slow to start, and are observed to be growing over a decade after publication. Over time, growth in Twitter activity is confirmed, alongside an apparent decline in blogging attention. Mendeley usage is observed to grow, but shows signs of recent decline. Policy attention is identified as the slowest form of impact studied by altmetrics, and one that strongly favours the Humanities and Social Sciences. The Open Access Altmetrics Advantage is seen to emerge and evolve over time, with each attention source showing different trends. The existence of late-emergent attention in all attention sources is confirmed.

A study of the correlation between publication delays and measurement indicators of journal articles in the social network environment—based on online data in PLOS | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The development of network technique and open access has made numerous research results freely obtained online, thereby facilitating the growth of the emerging evaluation methods of Altmetrics. However, it is unknown whether the time interval from reception to publication has an impact on the evaluation indicators of articles in the social network environment. We construct a range of time-series indexes that represent the features of the evaluation indicators and then explore the correlation of acceptance delay, technical delay, and overall delay with the relevant indicators of citations, usage, sharing and discussions, and collections that are obtained from the open access journal platform PLOS. Moreover, this research also explores the differences in the correlations of the delays for the literature in six subject areas with the corresponding indicators and the discrepancies of the correlations of delays and indexes in various metric quartiles. The results of the Mann–Whitney U test reveal that the length of delays affects the performance of the literature on some indicators. This study indicates that reducing the acceptance time and final publication time of articles can improve the efficiency of knowledge diffusion through the formal academic citation channel, but in the context of social networking communication, an appropriate interval at a particular stage in the publishing process can enhance the heat of sharing, discussion, and collection of articles to a small extent, hence boosting the influence and attention received by the literature on the internet.