Altmetric impact scores added to Library Search

Alert users of Library Search may have spotted colourful rosettes appearing among their search results in the past few weeks. These are indicators of online attention to the retrieved articles known as ‘Altmetrics’. There is a Altmetric Attention Score,  the number in the centre of the rosette, while the colour of the rosette is governed by whether the ‘attention’ showed up in Twitter, Facebook or elsewhere.

For an example, let us have a look at the results for this search peer-reviewed articles on “Adolescent to Parent Violence“. Among the results is an article with a multi-coloured rosette and a score of 22.

Article with Altmetric Attention Score of 22

Adolescent to parent violence: Framing and mapping a hidden problem

Hovering a mouse over the Altmetric icon causes a pop-up to appear with more details about the attention this article has received. As I write this:

  • Picked up by 1 news outlets
  • Tweeted by 14
  • On 1 Facebook pages
  • 25 readers on Menderly

How that relates to the score of 22 may be explained on the ‘See more details‘ page.


Just off this image the world map continues southwards to include the United Kingdom, France and Greece: countries where this article has received attention. There is a demographic breakdown pointing to a 64% to 36% split between Members of the public and Scientists responding to the article. Details of the News Sources, Tweets and Facebook posts can be found on different tabs.

The Attention score of 22 puts this article in the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric. In particular this article comes out as the 15th highest scoring article published in ‘this source’, presumable the Criminology and Criminal Justice journal. There is another tab ‘Attention Score in Context’ with figues further examining how this article compares to others published in the same journal, same period or, in fact, same journal and date.

The Altmetric Score may be a helpful indicator of impact to put alongside the Scopus and Web of Science traditional citation counts. A possible flaw in the system can be imagined if this post turns out to contribute to raising the article’s Attention Score, when I am only using it as a randomly chosen example.


About Philip Adams

Senior Assistant Librarian at De Montfort University. I am interested in digital preservation and the use of data to measure a library's impact. All comments own.
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