Altmetrics: ‘big data’ that map the influence of Australian research

Mrs Stephanie Guichard1, Ms Stacy Konkiel2

1Digital Science, Melbourne, Australia,

2Altmetric, London, United Kingdom,



Altmetrics : scholarly “big data” illustrating where, how often, and by whom research is discussed and commented; offering universities and research intensive organizations a unique opportunity to understand non-traditional scholarly and public influence of institutions’ research. Crucially, academic librarians are uniquely situated as information experts to discover and interpret altmetrics for their organizations.

This presentation will explore altmetrics data for Australian research published in 2017 in the most popular journals.  We will discuss the rate of online engagement, the most popular platforms for sharing Australian research, and where in the world Australian research is most mentioned in news, public policy, Facebook and Twitter.


Using a linked research insights tool, Dimensions, we extracted 4,354 publications published in 2017 by authors from Australian institutions in the country’s five most popular journals (Scientific Reports; PLoS One; Heart, Lung & Circulation; RSC Advances; and Journal of Materials Chemistry). We imported article identifiers into the Altmetric Explorer database, a leading resource for finding and analyzing altmetrics data then used the database to generate reports and visualizations for research outputs.


Overall, 2,082 (47.8%) of articles had attention in source that Altmetric tracks. The articles gathered 32,533 mentions overall.

In terms of demographics engaging with Australian research, results indicated the following: 27,474 tweets by 17,375 unique tweeters in 163 countries; 1,515 Facebook posts on 1,141 unique Facebook Pages in 51 countries; 2,701 news stories by 635 unique news outlets in 49 countries; and 11 policy documents written by 4 unique policy sources in 4 countries. The presentation will include detailed maps showcasing the country-level engagement with Australian research.


Overall, Australian-authored research from 2017 demonstrated great international influence across a variety of stakeholder groups.

Altmetrics offer a unique view onto the engagement with domestic research and should be considered as part of any organization’s larger reporting and evaluation plans.


I have previously worked in corporate banking and academic publishing before joining Digital Science. I have an interest in promoting academia, particularly literature and history, and have a keen passion for innovative digital research technologies.

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