Evaluative altmetrics: is there evidence for its application to research evaluation?

Authors : Wenceslao Arroyo-Machado, Daniel Torres-Salinas


Altmetrics have been demonstrated as a promising tool for analyzing scientific communication on social media. Nevertheless, its application for research evaluation remains underdeveloped, despite the advancement of research in the study of diverse scientific interactions.


This paper develops a method for applying altmetrics in the evaluation of researchers, focusing on a case study of the Environment/Ecology ESI field publications by researchers at the University of Granada. We considered Twitter as a mirror of social attention, news outlets as media, and Wikipedia as educational, exploring mentions from these three sources and the associated actors in their respective media, contextualizing them using various metrics.


Our analysis evaluated different dimensions such as the type of audience, local attention, engagement generated around the mention, and the profile of the actor. Our methodology effectively provided dashboards that gave a comprehensive view of the different instances of social attention at the author level.


The use of altmetrics for research evaluation presents significant potential, as shown by our case study. While this is a novel method, our results suggest that altmetrics could provide valuable insights into the social attention that researchers garner. This can be an important tool for research evaluation, expanding our understanding beyond traditional metrics.

URL : Evaluative altmetrics: is there evidence for its application to research evaluation?

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2023.1188131

The Many Publics of Science: Using Altmetrics to Identify Common Communication Channels by Scientific field

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Domingo Docampo, Wenceslao Arroyo-Machado, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia

Altmetrics have led to new quantitative studies of science through social media interactions. However, there are no models of science communication that respond to the multiplicity of non-academic channels.

Using the 3653 authors with the highest volume of altmetrics mentions from the main channels (Twitter, News, Facebook, Wikipedia, Blog, Policy documents, and Peer reviews) to their publications (2016-2020), it has been analyzed where the audiences of each discipline are located.

The results evidence the generalities and specificities of these new communication models and the differences between areas. These findings are useful for the development of science communication policies and strategies.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/2304.05157

Identifying and characterizing social media communities: a socio-semantic network approach to altmetrics

Authors : Wenceslao Arroyo-Machado, Daniel Torres-Salinas, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia

Altmetric indicators allow exploring and profiling individuals who discuss and share scientific literature in social media. But it is still a challenge to identify and characterize communities based on the research topics in which they are interested as social and geographic proximity also influence interactions.

This paper proposes a new method which profiles social media users based on their interest on research topics using altmetric data. Social media users are clustered based on the topics related to the research publications they share in social media.

This allows removing linkages which respond to social or personal proximity and identifying disconnected users who may have similar research interests. We test this method for users tweeting publications from the fields of Information Science & Library Science, and Microbiology.

We conclude by discussing the potential application of this method and how it can assist information professionals, policy managers and academics to understand and identify the main actors discussing research literature in social media.

URL : Identifying and characterizing social media communities: a socio-semantic network approach to altmetrics

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-04167-8

Open Access and Altmetrics in the pandemic age: Forescast analysis on COVID-19 literature

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Pedro A. Castillo-Valdivieso

We present an analysis on the uptake of open access on COVID-19 related literature as well as the social media attention they gather when compared with non OA papers.

We use a dataset of publications curated by Dimensions and analyze articles and preprints. Our sample includes 11,686 publications of which 67.5% are openly accessible.

OA publications tend to receive the largest share of social media attention as measured by the Altmetric Attention Score. 37.6% of OA publications are bronze, which means toll journals are providing free access.

MedRxiv contributes to 36.3% of documents in repositories but papers in BiorXiv exhibit on average higher AAS. We predict the growth of COVID-19 literature in the following 30 days estimating ARIMA models for the overall publications set, OA vs. non OA and by location of the document (repository vs. journal).

We estimate that COVID-19 publications will double in the next 20 days, but non OA publications will grow at a higher rate than OA publications. We conclude by discussing the implications of such findings on the dissemination and communication of research findings to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.23.057307

Science through Wikipedia: A novel representation of open knowledge through co-citation networks

Authors : Wenceslao Arroyo-Machado, Daniel Torres-Salinas, Enrique Herrera-Viedma, Esteban Romero-Frías

This study provides an overview of science from the Wikipedia perspective. A methodology has been established for the analysis of how Wikipedia editors regard science through their references to scientific papers.

The method of co-citation has been adapted to this context in order to generate Pathfinder networks (PFNET) that highlight the most relevant scientific journals and categories, and their interactions in order to find out how scientific literature is consumed through this open encyclopaedia.

In addition to this, their obsolescence has been studied through Price index. A total of 1 433 457 references available at this http URL have been initially taken into account. After pre-processing and linking them to the data from Elsevier’s CiteScore Metrics the sample was reduced to 847 512 references made by 193 802 Wikipedia articles to 598 746 scientific articles belonging to 14 149 journals indexed in Scopus.

As highlighted results we found a significative presence of “Medicine” and “Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology” papers and that the most important journals are multidisciplinary in nature, suggesting also that high-impact factor journals were more likely to be cited. Furthermore, only 13.44% of Wikipedia citations are to Open Access journals.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.04347

The insoluble problems of books: What does Altmetric.com have to offer?

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Juan Gorraiz, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the capabilities, functionalities and appropriateness of Altmetric.com as a data source for the bibliometric analysis of books in comparison to PlumX.

We perform an exploratory analysis on the metrics the Altmetric Explorer for Institutions platform offers for books. We use two distinct datasets of books: the Book Collection included in Altmetric.com and the Clarivate’s Master Book List, to analyze Altmetric.com’s capabilities to download and merge data with external databases.

Finally, we compare our findings with those obtained in a previous study performed in PlumX. Altmetric.com combines and orderly tracks a set of data sources combined by DOI identifiers to retrieve metadata from books, being Google Books its main provider. It also retrieves information from commercial publishers and from some Open Access initiatives, including those led by university libraries such as Harvard Library.

We find issues with linkages between records and mentions or ISBN discrepancies. Furthermore, we find that automatic bots affect greatly Wikipedia mentions to books. Our comparison with PlumX suggests that none of these tools provide a complete picture of the social attention generated by books and are rather complementary than comparable tools.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.10128

Disentangling Gold Open Access

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia, Henk F. Moed

This chapter focuses on the analysis of current publication trends in gold Open Access (OA). The purpose of the chapter is to develop a full understanding on country patterns, OA journals characteristics and citation differences between gold OA and non-gold OA publications.

For this, we will first review current literature regarding Open Access and its relation with its so-called citation advantage. Starting with a chronological perspective we will describe its development, how different countries are promoting OA publishing, and its effects on the journal publishing industry.

We will deepen the analysis by investigating the research output produced by different units of analysis. First, we will focus on the production of countries with a special emphasis on citation and disciplinary differences. A point of interest will be identification of national idiosyncrasies and the relation between OA publication and research of local interest.

This will lead to our second unit of analysis, OA journals indexed in Web of Science. Here we will deepen on journals characteristics and publisher types to clearly identify factors which may affect citation differences between OA and traditional journals which may not necessarily be derived from the OA factor.

Gold OA publishing is being encouraged in many countries as opposed to Green OA. This chapter aims at fully understanding how it affects researchers’ publication patterns and whether it ensures an alleged citation advantage as opposed to non-gold OA publications.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.04535