Altmetrics: how can I see the social attention to my research papers?

You have written a number of papers and you want to see the attention that they have received in society? This manual explains how you can get started!
Below, you can see what the social attention dashboard looks like. It contains all research output from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and VUmc*, monitoring daily in what news item, policy document, patent, blog, video or other media a paper is mentioned.
The beautiful thing is that this dashboard lets you filter on your department or your name to see the social attention that your papers have attracted.


*) It actually contains all papers worldwide, so you can compare yourself with other institutions. We linked the dashboard with the PURE system of VU Amsterdam and VUmc to map the organisational structure on the known publications.

  • Make sure that you are on the campus IP range of VU Amsterdam or VUmc
  • Register your account using this invite link Altmetric Explorer AND your or email address
  • Log in to
  • Search and select your name



  • See how many of your papers have attracted attention
  • See the breakdown of that attention – news articles citing your papers, policy documents from government bodies and NGOs citing your papers, patents citing your papers
  • See what papers gained the most attention
  • See which the top influencers are
  • See the latest mentions


Review the attention to your papers, such as those with: 

  • the most attention or no attention detected
  • the most references in News
  • the most references in Policy documents
  • the most references in Patents



Are you unable to see all your research papers? The Altmetric Explorer is connected to PURE.
Add them in PURE. Log in to the VU Research Portal/VUmc Research Portal. Do not forget to use an identifier: DOI, PubMed ID, ISBN, arXiv, etc. 

> See the timeline of attention to your papers through time. 

  • Review the different mention types


> Dig into the details of a news spike.

  • Notice how a news site is using the DOI to refer to your article


> Look for mentions in policy documents.
  • Notice the incubation time for policy uptake


> See which blog posts are referring to your research and in what context they are mentioning it.


> View the patents referring to your papers.


> Get a monthly update of the social activity around your papers.


> Create a simple PDF/HTML report for you to share (privately or publicly); e.g. for grant application.


To set up a communication plan, please contact the communication officer of your faculty.

Here you find the technicalities of which you have to be aware, without the details of the scholarly information infrastructure behind it.

  • Digital birthplace and identifiers
    Make sure that your born-digital content has a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) at the time of publication. Normally, your publisher will take care of that matter. This identifier is normally a DOI for articles and an ISBN for monographs. Other identifiers are fine as well, such as PubMed IDs, arXiv handles, etc.
    When you do not have a peer-reviewed article, work with grey literature, use data or software code as the scholarly output that you want to track, or your publisher is too small to distribute identifiers, you can choose to use services such as the RIO journal (also for reports), Zenodo (links with GitHub as well) or a preprint server in order to publish the digital-born origin of your work as your output.
    Do not forget to add the identifier to the paper in PURE; otherwise, it will not appear in the Altmetric Explorer. See the above section 3. Details of your papers and their social attention.
  • Metadata consistency
    Ensure that all basic metadata are consistent: the title of your work, the author's name, the year of publication, the name of the ‘birthplace’ where you published your document (e.g. Zenodo) and the title of the journal (which is the birthplace of your born-digital material).
  • References in public documents
    Make sure that public parties always include your work’s DOI when they refer to it. Ask them to list the title of your work, the author's name and the title of the journal consistently as well.

What papers to take care of first?
See the above section on '3. Details of your papers and their social attention'. Sort your research output by papers with the lowest attention score.