Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The making of the Altmetric Top 100 2015 | Altmetric.com

 Source: http://www.altmetric.com/blog/top-100-2015/

It’s Top 100
time of year again! Uncovering stories about how academic research has
been received and presenting those findings in visually engaging ways is
central to everything we do at Altmetric, and our annual Top 100 list
of the most shared and discussed articles is no exception to this. First
launched 2 years ago, the list provides a great overview of the
research articles that really caught the attention of a broader audience
in 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 12.09.55

The 2015 list

The most popular paper of this year
detailed the discovery of a new antibiotic that inhibits the growth of a
range of drug-resistant bacteria, offering hope for efforts aimed at
combatting antibiotic resistance. Recreating Van Gogh’s masterpieces,
risky Christmas gifts, plastic pollution in our oceans, and the return
of the autism debate also all caught the attention of the public and
mainstream media.

Some highlights from this year’s list:

  • 42% of the top 100 articles were published under a gold open access license
  • 65 of the articles feature contributions from US based authors, and 31 listed UK based authors
  • Between
    them, the articles featured in the list were mentioned in over 5,000
    news items, 93,000 tweets, and referenced on Wikipedia almost 300 times
  • Medical
    and health related studies once again dominated the list, although
    there was a noticeable amount of climate and environmental science that
    received a large amount of attention

Scoring attention

The list is determined based on the
articles that rank the highest according to the Altmetric score; our
automatically calculated weighted measure of attention. The score is
designed to provide an indicator of the volume and reach of the
attention a research output (in this case, an article) has received, and
is useful for identifying how much an article is being shared and
discussed as soon as it’s published.

The “score in context” section on
each details page, which can be accessed by clicking on the colorful
donut of each article, tells you how highly an article has scored in
relation to other articles from the same journal, and other articles of a
similar age.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 14.45.08

Don’t forget that the score doesn’t
tell the full story – be sure to take a good look through the actual
mentions on each details page to get a better understanding of why each
article has received a lot of attention!

How the data were collated

We queried the Altmetric database on
the 16th of November 2015 to get a download of the most mentioned
articles. This list was reviewed by the Altmetric team, and we removed
items that fell outside what qualified for inclusion (news and comment
in particular). Using the DOI of each item we then queried Crossref and
the GRID database to gather the institutional affiliation data –
including location information. Any missing information was populated
via a manual online search, and may still not be perfect, so do let us
know if you spot any errors or omissions.

Access types (e.g. was it published
under a gold OA model?) were determined by manually checking publisher
websites, and subject categories were agreed on by the Altmetric team
and assigned by hand.

All of the data are now available to download on figshare.

Building the site

This year’s top 100 website has
been designed so that the metrics make sense at a glance, but also has
lots of added filtering functionality to help users explore the data and
isolate key themes. The article list can be filtered by country,
academic discipline, journal, and institution, and can also be divided
into paywalled versus open access papers

We’ve also included an interactive
map for the first time, showing all the institutions the authors of the
papers are affiliated with, giving users a great visual representation
of where in the world the articles included received academic input

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 14.47.03


We’re really pleased with how the
final product came out, but it wasn’t always easy to get there! Although
some of the process was done automatically, gathering the complete
institutional affiliation data for some of the articles proved to be a
very lengthy process, in some cases copying and pasting hundreds of
institutions from publisher PDFs.

Another challenge was in identifying Open Access content – we were
only concerned with gold OA, not articles that have been made free to
view since. With no industry standard for tagging and displaying the
access model on an article page it was sometimes tricky to determine!

Some thank yous!

Lastly, a huge thanks to everyone who
helped see this project through: Matt MacLeod at Altmetric who built
the site, Altmetric Founder Euan, Simon Porter and the Data Science team
at Digital Science who provided the GRID data and helped with the
manual curation, and Laura Wheeler and Lisa Hulme who coordinated PR
ahead of the launch, as well as the whole of the Altmetric team who have
all pitched in to help along the way.

The making of the Altmetric Top 100 2015 | Altmetric.com

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