Can apply to: Primarily journal articles
Metric definition: The number of mainstream online news and magazine outlets that reference a journal article
Metric calculation: Counts are determined by the number of news outlets that reference a specific journal article. Metric sources use a variety of methods for recognizing and tracking mentions, such as searching for hyperlinks in news reports and full text searching.
Data sources: Full-text news reports and RSS feeds from English language and non-English language online news outlets and magazines. The specific sources and scope of coverage vary by the metric source.
Appropriate use cases: News media mentions can be used to demonstrate journalistic coverage of a journal article. The type of citing sources (e.g. trade magazines versus widely circulated newspapers) can be used to demonstrate potential engagement with specialized and public audiences.
Limitations: Journalistic and media coverage of research and scientific findings may be influenced by perceptions of popularity and novelty, as well as the discipline and type of study being reported (Selvaraj, Borkar & Prasad, 2014; Lai & Lane, 2009).
Inappropriate use cases: News media mentions should not be interpreted as a measurement of quality or impact.
Available metric sources: Altmetric, PlumX, Newsflow
Transparency: The transparency of data sources and news mentions data depends on the metric provider. Both Altmetric and PlumX provide click through access to the full text of cited media mentions.
Timeframe: Most metric sources began tracking data in 2011 or later; therefore, data is more readily available for recent publications.