What is Altmetric?

The Research Office at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has launched a pilot of Altmetric.  

Altmetric is a web-based platform that allows anyone within Schulich Medicine & Dentistry to track, search, and measure the attention their scholarly articles are receiving online. It does this by pulling in data from three main sources:

  • Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and blogs
  • Traditional media - both mainstream (The Guardian, New York Times) and science specific (New Scientist, Scientific American). Many non-english language titles are covered. 
  • Online reference managers like Mendeley and CiteULike

What does it provide?

After Altmetric aggregates all of the information, it can find about a scholarly article it looks at both the quantity and the quality of attention being paid to an article and visualises it:

The number inside the coloured circle is the  Altmetric score  for the article being viewed. This is a quantitative measure of the quality and quantity of attention that the article has received - you can read more about the scoring algorithm  here

The colours themselves reflect where the posts mentioning the article came from. For example, red means that the article has been mentioned by mainstream news outlets, blue means it has been tweeted about. In the Altmetric Explorer tool you can hover the mouse cursor over a visualization to see the appropriate legend.

Clicking on the circle typically gives you access to all of the posts that Altmetric has collected for that article.


How do I access Altmetric

In order to access Altmetric, you’ll need to be at a computer with a Schulich IP address on campus, or you need to create an account and sign in using your "" or "" email address.

Go to

If accessing from off campus, click on "Sign In" at the top right of the screen. You may need to create an account using your "" or "" email.

If you have difficulty accessing Altmetric, contact

Important things to remember

Data from Altmetric can be used to:

  • Demonstrate evidence of broader impact and engagement for use in funding applications
  • Find out who is talking about your research, and what they’re saying.
  • Monitor interest and dissemination of your research around the world

However, a couple items to note:

  • Altmetric measures attention, not quality. People pay attention to papers for all sorts of reasons, not all of them positive.
  • Altmetric only tracks public attention. Papers are discussed in private forums, offline in journal clubs and by email but we cannot track this.
  • Altmetric tracks  direct attention, that is to say attention focused on a specific research paper or dataset. More specifically for a newspaper article or blog post etc. to be counted by Altmetric it must contain a hyperlink to or formal citation of a scholarly work.
  • Altmetric provides you with a single metric per article so that you can quickly compare relative levels of attention but it only makes sense to use this when comparing apples with apples (e.g. within a single discipline). The norms for attention are very different for different scientific disciplines, just as the norms for citations are.

Resources for more information


This pilot is a work-in-progress, and we welcome your feedback.  Please send comments and/or questions to

Please visit the Altmetric Support website for more information if you wonder why your publication was missed. To submit a publication for listing, or to make a correction to an incorrect listing of your publication, please fill out the Submissions/Corrections form.