May 18, 2022

Conference Paper: “Can We Use Altmetrics at the Institutional Level? A Case Study Analysing the Coverage by Research Areas of Four Spanish Universities”

The following paper (preprint) has been accepted at the STI Conference 2016 (21st International Conference on Science and Technology Indicators) that is scheduled to take place in Valencia, Spain this September.


Can We Use Altmetrics At The Institutional Level? A Case Study Analysing The Coverage By Research Areas of Four Spanish Universities


Daniel Torres-Salinas
Universidad de Navarra and Universidad de Granada

Nicolas Robinson-Garcia
Universitat Politècnica de València

Evaristo Jiménez-Contreras
Universidad de Granada


via arXiv


Social media based indicators or altmetrics have been under scrutiny for the last seven years. Their promise as alternative metrics for measuring scholarly impact is still far from becoming a reality.
Up to now, most studies have focused on the understanding of the nature and relation of altmetric indicators with citation data.

Few papers have analysed research profiles based on altmetric data. Most of these have related to researcher profiles and the expansion of these tools among researchers. This paper aims at exploring the coverage of the database and its potential use in order to show universities’ research profiles in relationship with other databases. We analyse a sample of four different Spanish universities.

First, we observe a low coverage of altmetric indicators with only 36 percent of all documents retrieved from the Web of Science having an ‘altmetric’ score. Second, we observe that for the four universities analysed, the area of Science shows higher ‘altmetric’ scores that the rest of the research areas. Finally, considering the low coverage of altmetric data at the institutional level, it could be interesting for research policy makers to consider the development of guidelines and best practices guides to ensure that researchers disseminate adequately their research findings through social media.

Direct to Full Text Paper (8 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.