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Altmetric at Stirling: Altmetric Attention Score in detail

Altmetric Donut in detail

The Altmetric donut visualization and Altmetric Attention Score have been developed to help give an at-a-glance summary of the online attention an article has received.

A higher score indicates a larger amount of attention, and the different colors of the donut represent the different sources in which the article has been mentioned.

Data from most sources is updated on an hourly, or at least daily, basis. Altmetric text mine news sources for mentions of the journal title and author names, and cross-reference this with an external database to determine which article the news story is about. For all other sources, for Altmetric to be able to pick up the mention automatically there needs to be an HTML link to the article page (the one with a DOI or other unique identifier on) in the main body of the text.

How the Altmetric Attention Score is calculated

The number inside the coloured donut is the Altmetric Attention Score for the article being viewed. This score is a weighted quantitative measure of the quality and quantity of attention that the article has received.

The score is derived from 3 main factors - Altmetric explain these:

The score has an important limitation: if the article was published before July 2011, Altmetric will have missed any transient mentions of it, tweets in particular. As such, its score won’t be accurate, and will represent a lower bound of the attention received.


You can read more about the scoring algorithm at Altmetric.

The Colours

The colours in the Altmetric donut 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. 


For Mendeley and Citeulike Altmetric show counts of readers but they do not contribute to the donut or score.