May 29, 2022

Article: “Research Data Explored: Citations Versus Altmetrics”

The following article/preprint was recently posted on arXiv.


Research Data Explored: Citations Versus Altmetrics


Isabella Peters
ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics

Peter Kraker

Elisabeth Lex
Graz University of Technology, Knowledge Technologies Institute

Christian Gumpenberger
University of Vienna

Juan Gorraiz
University of Vienna


arXiv:1501.03342 [cs.DL]


The study explores the citedness of research data, its distribution over time and how it is related to the availability of a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) in Thomson Reuters’ DCI (Data Citation Index).

We investigate if cited research data “impact” the (social) web, reflected by altmetrics scores, and if there is any relationship between the number of citations and the sum of altmetrics scores from various social media-platforms. Three tools are used to collect and compare altmetrics scores, i.e. PlumX, ImpactStory, and In terms of coverage, PlumX is the most helpful altmetrics tool.

While research data remain mostly uncited (about 85%), there has been a growing trend in citing data sets published since 2007. Surprisingly, the percentage of the number of cited research data with a DOI in DCI has decreased in the last years. Only nine repositories account for research data with DOIs and two or more citations. The number of cited research data with altmetrics scores is even lower (4 to 9%) but shows a higher coverage of research data from the last decade. However, no correlation between the number of citations and the total number of altmetrics scores is observable. Certain data types (i.e. survey, aggregate data, and sequence data) are more often cited and receive higher altmetrics scores.

Direct to Full Text (13 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.