Explaining Altmetrics at LSHTM

Fresh Martian Impact Crater by Stuart Rankin https://flic.kr/p/ptSdih

Fresh Martian Impact Crater by Stuart Rankin (CC-BY) https://flic.kr/p/ptSdih

As users of the School’s Publications Database and LSHTM Research Online may have noticed the Altmetrics plug-in which records social media mentions of research by our academic staff.

It’s an impressive tool which records mentions of research papers by third party services such as Twitter, Facebook, news outlets such as BBC and Science and research platforms such as Mendeley and CiteULike.



However, there’s been a few questions about how papers are picked up by these outlets and why. Well, here’s a quick explanation of why your paper may or may not receive attention by the Altmetrics plug in tool.

There are few limitations you’ll need to bear in mind:

According to Altmetrics:

  • Right now we can only track items with a DOI, handle or other recognized scholarly identifier (SSRN, arXiv, RePEc and PubMed IDs are all OK too). Though we’re looking at supporting items identified by URL alone this is a little while off. What this basically means is papers on LSHTM Research Online such as pre prints, PhD theses, monographs, books and chapters of books that don’t have a Digitial Object Identifier (DOI) or are a PudMed ID won’t be picked up.
  • We started collecting data in July 2011 and coverage of papers published before that date isn’t great, so be prepared to only really see results on more recent material.
  • We can’t offer citation counts: as much as we’d like to unfortunately if you want to include this data you need to negotiate with Scopus and/or Web of Science separately, we aren’t able to do this on your behalf.

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