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Bibliometrics – Altmetrics

Altmetrics – Metrics for information on the dissemination of scientific publications

The altmetrics approach is very promising with respect to the ongoing discussion of research findings in the scientific community and in society at large. The introduction of alternative metrics (altmetrics) can be traced back to a discussion several years ago as to whether focusing on the classical bibliometric indicators in the Internet era still adequately reflected the scientific and social significance of research work. In the course of this discussion, the expression “altmetrics” was coined as a collective term for alternative metrics which also include web-based information.
Altmetrics can therefore be regarded as a complement to classical bibliometric indicators providing new information from the social media sector that was previously unavailable. This new information makes it possible to examine the reception of scientific publications for example on news sites, in science blogs, policy papers, and other web-based sources. Altmetrics is not a substitute for bibliometric indicators. Its strength is to be found in revealing dissemination paths and the wide range of information on the scientific context of an article.

Altmetrics – A Collated Adjunct Beyond Citations for Scholarly Impact – A Systematic Review (Basavaraj Patthi et. al., Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 1 June 2017)
Evaluation von ausgewählten Altmetrics-Diensten für den Einsatz an wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken (Kerstin Gimpl, Masterarbeit TH Köln, 18.04.2017)
Forschungsmetriken – Ignorieren, boykottieren oder nutzen? – Forschungsmetriken in die Praxis gebracht (Oliver Renn, Joachim Schnabl,, 2017, S. 229-235)
Vier Tage für fünf Jahre Altmetrics – Bericht über die Konferenz 2AM und den Workshop altmetrics15 (Stefanie Haustein,, 2016, S. 110-112)

Altmetric Explorer makes metrics visible

Screenshot Altmetric ExplorerCopyright: Screenshot Altmetric Explorer

Forschungszentrum Jülich is currently testing the Altmetric Explorer from the digital science company for three years. Altmetric Explorer reveals the response to publications by Jülich scientists in social media and other Internet services. In general, all scientific publications that have a digital object identifier (DOI) can be captured by The DOI takes on the function of a central ID making the publications always uniquely identifiable. Forschungszentrum Jülich is the first centre in the Helmholtz Association to make use of altmetrics. The Altmetric Explorer can be accessed via the databases provided by the Central Library. You can use the database from the IP range of Forschungszentrum Jülich or by registering personally.

Altmetric Explorer
Altmetric Explorer – Sign Up
JuLib eXtended Information Portal – Record – Altmetric Explorer

Screenshot Altmetric Explorer Donuts

Examples of Applications

The default view is an overview of all Jülich publications (“my institution only”), sorted by the highest point score (displayed in the centre of the Altmetric donut). The higher the value, the more attention the publication has achieved.

This score does not provide any information about the quality or scientific relevance of the publication.
The colours within the donut and their brilliance are of more significance. A high proportion of red signifies the reception of the article on news websites, yellow signifies blogs, dark grey is for wikipedia, bright blue for Twitter, dark blue for Facebook, etc.

The full record provides information on the individual resources where the publication is mentioned. You can thus determine what journal, news website, or blog has mentioned the article and access the individual social media posts.
Altmetric Explorer – The donut and Altmetric Attention Score

Using the advanced search function, you can easily find the desired publication by entering a DOI and further identifiers. The ORCID permits a list of all publications from a certain author to be created. Every author and every institute can thus monitor publications on a daily basis and react to discussions as necessary.

By searching the entire database, you can also follow other articles, journals, or publishers in order to analyse the associated information.

Screenshot Fachmeldungen Altmetric ExplorerCopyright: Screenshot Forschungszentrum Jülich

Inclusion in selected press releases of
Forschungszentrum Jülich

Press releases on publications by Jülich scientists in which altmetrics are applied can be identified on the website of Forschungszentrum Jülich by a so-called donut. The colours of this donut represent the current figures on the social media impact of the publication and a link to the Altmetric website where you can find more detailed information on the media in which the publication was mentioned.
Forschungszentrum Jülich – Press releases – Notifications on selected papers

Screenshot – JuSER Publication Portal – Altmetric ExplorerCopyright: Screenshot Forschungszentrum Jülich

Inclusion in the JuSER Publicationsportal

Publications by Jülich scientists which receive an Altmetric Score are labelled with the corresponding donut in Jülich’s publications portal. The donut can be found in the “Database coverage” of the “full record” view of documents, as a complement to the databases and reference systems already listed.
The colours of the donut represent the current figures on the social media impact of the publication and a link to the website where you can find more detailed information on the media in which the publication was mentioned.
JuSER Publications Portal


Altmetrics for Jülich publications was introduced thanks to an initiative of the Central Library. We aim to present distribution channels of scientific information and to increase the visibility of Jülich’s research results. The changes in scientific communication channels and the effects of this on the impact of research results are a particular focus. The Central Library has experience and well-founded knowledge on bibliometrics in the science-policy context as well as on open access.

Contact: Andreas Meier
Tel: 02461 61-6198