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How Altmetric works

Sources of attention

Altmetric tracks a wide range of online sources to capture the conversations and activity related to research outputs. The sources of attention include:

  • Public policy documents

  • Mainstream media

  • Online reference managers

  • Post-publication peer-review platforms

  • Wikipedia

  • Open Syllabus Project

  • Patents

  • Blogs

  • Citations

  • Research highlights

  • Social Media

  • Multimedia and other online platforms

How it tracks

To be able to track the online attention for a specific piece of research, there are 3 things needed:

  • An output
  • An identifier (more information below)
  • Mentions in a source Altmetric tracks

Generally, Altmetric tracks mentions related to these types of research outputs:

  • Books
  • Book chapters
  • Journal articles
  • Presentations
  • Theses/Dissertations
  • Reports
  • Conference proceedings
  • Reviews
  • Datasets
  • Working papers
  • Grey literature
  • And more!

Types of identifiers

The unique identifier is important for Altmetric to be able to match the attention to the research. Identifiers Altmetric is designed to automatically recognize extend far beyond journal articles, and include:

  • PubMedID – typically associated with health sciences research
  • arXiv ID – Physics, Mathematics & Computer Sciences
  • ADS ID – Astrophysics data system
  • SSRN ID – Social Sciences outputs
  • RePEC ID – economics research
  • identifiers – often used in institutional repositories
  • URN (Uniform Resource Name) identifiers
  • ISBNs – books hosted on publisher domains and google books
  • DOIs – assigned to individual articles at the point of publication, and by platforms such as figshare and Dryad to other outputs (including datasets, images, and more)


To make sure Altmetric captures the online mentions of QUT's research work, a good rule of thumb is to use the DOI link when there is one. The library liaison team can tell you how to assign DOIs to our own publications and datasets. Most journal articles have DOI links as well.
However, when a publication does not have a DOI, you may use the repository link that is also tracked by Altmetric. This applies to both record link and direct PDF link. Both links should start with the prefix:
Embed the link in the main body of the post will increase the chances for Altmetric to pick up the mention. Altmetric may not pick up links included in headers or in the reference list at the bottom of your post.
Tags: bibliometrics