Quick Tips and Things to Know about Altmetrics 

  • Altmetrics (Alternative Metrics) are alternatives to traditional citation metrics showing the attention that a publication is getting. The colorful Altmetric badge includes a weighted score based on mentions from various sources such as social media, policy documents, news sources and more.  Sources have different weighted values. For example, a mention in a policy document receives a higher weighting than a tweet.
  • Altmetrics are based on mentions of a publication, not mentions about an author. The publication is tied to the CU Boulder author through CU Elements.  If the publication has not been claimed in CU Elements, it will not show in Altmetric Explorer. Publications must have a DOI (digital object identifier) to be included.
  • Data in our Altmetric Explorer instance are based on data in CU Elements. Information is organized in the same departmental units as found in CU Elements.
  • Scores range from single digits into the hundreds or more. Higher altmetric scores do not imply quality of work. Instead, they serve as a flag to data users to explore further to see why the publication is getting so much attention from these sources. Attention can be due to prestige of the authors, important scholarly findings, timely impact related to current events, or may be possibly due to negative circumstances such as questionable results or some other controversy. 
  • Altmetric Explorer scores are updated weekly. Best practice is to check faculty of interest on a weekly basis to be aware of attention as it is happening.