New library resource delves into McMaster research impact
Altmetric Explorer for Institutions enables users to monitor attention surrounding academic research, allowing researchers, research support staff, and management to explore the “buzz” around their scholarly work, from social media impact to policy inclusion.
“Beyond showing how publications are picked up in media outlets and cited in other publications, the nice thing about Altmetric Explorer is that it also tracks their mentions in patents and government policy documents,” said Jeff Demaine, bibliometrics and research impact librarian at McMaster library.
“This allows people to say, for example, my research on aspirin therapy has been adopted officially by the government of Australia in its 2020 health policy guidelines. That’s huge as it shows that people outside academia are actually listening, and that McMaster’s research is having an impact on people’s lives.”
Altmetric Explorer pulls data from:
- Social media, such as Twitter and Facebook
- Traditional media, including mainstream (e.g., The Guardian, New York Times) and field specific (e.g., New Scientist, BirdWatching)
- Blogs for major organizations and individual researchers
- Patents, policy documents and other grey literature
- Online reference managers like Mendeley and CiteULike
Among the features of Altmetric Explorer are highly configurable search parameters, real-time updates, and customized email alerts.
Thanks to the information available in McMaster Experts about researchers and their affiliations, McMaster users can also browse Altmetric Explorer for a specific author, group, or department; benchmark against peer organizations; report on the outcomes of outreach activity, and integrate the insights the data provides into evaluation and review processes.
“McMaster’s version of Altmetric Explorer has a copy of our organizational structure built into it,” Demaine said. “This means users can search not just for the number of publications from all of McMaster, but the chair of our Department of Pediatrics, for example, can specifically see how scholarship produced within their department is contributing to public and academic discourse.”