Altmetric 500 data offers wider insight into research’s most influential articles

Digital Science, a technology company serving stakeholders across the research ecosystem, today announces an exciting new tranche of data that throws light on how and why research cuts through to society at large – in the shape of the Altmetric 500.

A decade on from the first Altmetric 100 reports, which listed the most influential academic articles in a given year, a leading provider of alternative metrics for published research is now releasing an upgraded overview of research engagement: the Altmetric 500. 

The Altmetric 500, which analyses the attention for scholarly articles published in 2023,  covers over 50 research categories – representing different fields of research (FoR), geographies and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and reflects activity across 11 different attention sources, including:

  • news articles
  • academic citations
  • policy citations
  • blogs
  • Wikipedia pages
  • X (Twitter) profiles.

“We are delighted to release the Altmetric 500, enabling us to recognize and highlight some of the most influential articles of the year. By extending the scope of the Altmetric 500 to fields of research, countries and even SDGs, we will provide a real flavour of what research has been generating interest and discussion in many different areas,” says Cat Williams, Managing Director of Digital Science’s Data & Analytics Hub.

“A key feature of attention to research is that some outputs can gain attention in one area while being barely acknowledged in another. We can see this in the Altmetric 500, and it really serves to demonstrate how relying on a wider range of indicators is really important for gathering more comprehensive insights,” Ms Williams says.

“The overall aim for the Altmetric 500 is to provide a new way to explore the different meanings of ‘attention’ to research, highlighting the various impacts of research across different channels, platforms and cultures.”

Analysis of the Altmetric 500 highlights:

    • Harvard University and the University of Oxford feature most frequently, with 12 top articles across the 500 categories in 2023 for Harvard, and 11 for Oxford. The University of Toronto had 9.
    • Springer Nature is the most influential publisher with 81 category-leading publications, ahead of Elsevier (53) and Taylor & Francis (48).
    • The European Research Council (ERC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are the most successful funders, with ERC supporting 14 top publications and NSFC supporting 13.

    Through the rest of 2024, Altmetric and Digital Science will explore these impacts and provide examples and use cases for how the data can be leveraged to provide unique insights into research outcomes.

    For more information, you can read a blog published by Altmetric on the new initiative: