Data sources in Altmetrics

One of the advantages of altmetrics is the diversity and multitude of data sources they refer to. This allows for valuing different sorts of scientific output, be it data, code, or contribution in a blog. However, there are also risks of using such a wide range of data for scholarly evaluation or information seeking. Within OpenUp, we have developed a category of data sources in altmetrics This classification aims at supporting researchers about what kind of data are used in altmetrics and how they can inform scholarly information seeking or dissemination strategies.


Altmetrics providers, measure different sources to provide social outreach information for scholars and institutional customers. They do not only provide Altmetrics data, by utilizing various social media platforms but also bibliometric information by sourcing large scientific databases such as Web of Science (WoS)  and Scopus.

Data sources classification
Most data sources have millions of subscribers and users that allow for scientific information to travel beyond the typical audience of scholarly communication. But how the activities and data collection practices can be interpreted and classified?
Data sources used in Altmetrics can be assigned to the following categories: Social bookmarking; video, photo and slide sharing; Social networks; blogging; microblogging; recommendation and review systems; Q & A; Online Encyclopedias; Online digital libraries; Dataset repositories; Online publishers; Search engines and blog aggregators; others. The following table provides an overview of data sources and categories.



Data sources
Social bookmarking CiteULike, Mendeley, Delicious
Video, photo and slide sharing Youtube, Vimeo, Slideshare, Flickr, Daily Motion
Social networks Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Academia, ResearchGate
Blogging Nature blogs, PloS blogs, Scientific American blogs, Research Blogging, Nature
Microblogging Twitter, Sina Weibo, Tumblr
Recommendation and review systems F1000, F1000Prime, Reddit, Publons, Amazon reviews, Goodreads
Q & A Stack exchange, other
Online digital libraries and repositories PMC, Europe PMC, BioMed Central, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, CrossRef, Fighshare, arXiv, WorldCat, institutional repositories, RePec, EBSCO, SSRN, EPrints, dSpace, USPTO Patents, Lexis, CRIS
Dataset repositories Dryad, Datacite, ADSSource code repositories
Source code repositories Github, Sourceforge, Bitbucket
Online publishers PLoS, Open Edition, Copernicus
Search engines, blog aggregators Science seeker
Other ORCID, Google code, Google patents, WIPO,, COUNTER



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