May 20, 2022

Research Article: “An Extensive Analysis of the Presence Of Altmetric Data for Web of Science Publications Across Subject Fields and Research Topics”

The article linked to below (full text, open access version) was recently published by Scientometrics (DOI: 10.1007/s11192-020-03564-9).


An Extensive Analysis of the Presence Of Altmetric Data for Web of Science Publications Across Subject Fields and Research Topics


Zhichao Fang
Leiden University, Netherlands

Rodrigo Costas
Leiden University, Netherlands
Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Wencan Tian
Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China

Xianwen Wang
Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, China

Paul Wouters
Leiden University


via arXiv

Final Version: Scientometrics (June 17, 2020).


Sufficient data presence is one of the key preconditions for applying metrics in practice. Based on both this data and Mendeley data collected up to 2019, this paper presents a state-of-the-art analysis of the presence of 12 kinds of altmetric events for nearly 12.3 million Web of Science publications published between 2012 and 2018. Results show that even though an upward trend of data presence can be observed over time, except for Mendeley readers and Twitter mentions, the overall presence of most altmetric data is still low. The majority of altmetric events go to publications in the fields of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, and Life and Earth Sciences. As to research topics, the level of attention received by research topics varies across altmetric data, and specific altmetric data show different preferences for research topics, on the basis of which a framework for identifying hot research topics is proposed and applied to detect research topics with higher levels of attention garnered on certain altmetric data source. Twitter mentions and policy document citations were selected as two examples to identify hot research topics of interest of Twitter users and policy-makers, respectively, shedding light on the potential of altmetric data in monitoring research trends of specific social attention.

Direct to Full Text (Open Access Version)
31 pages; PDF.

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