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Coverage of the research documents with top altmetric attention scores in online news

Majid Nabavi (Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 12 June 2024




This paper investigates the news coverage of research documents with the top Altmetric attention score (AAS) using a descriptive and explorative approach.


A dataset comprising 1,000 articles with high AAS was retrieved from The DOIs of these articles were then used to retrieve citation data from Dimensions. Data collection was finalized on February 11, 2024, and separate Excel files were merged using SPSS. The research included subject analysis and conducted correlation and Mann–Whitney U statistical tests.


The study reveals that the highest number of articles with high AAS were published in 2020. News post correlation with citation count is stronger than with AAS score. From the top AAS documents, titles of those with the highest news post counts include public concern keywords, and their subjects were primarily biomedical and clinical sciences. While no significant difference exists between multidisciplinary and specialty journal news posts, there is an increase in the variety of news sources in 2020 and 2021. Documents on biomedical and clinical sciences receive the most attention primarily from US-based news outlets, and many of the news outlets covering top AAS documents do not have specific subject orientations.

Practical implications

Researchers and journal editors should prioritize factors influencing research news coverage, including subjects, writing styles, and publication sources. Science writers should expand their coverage to include academic publications from subject areas beyond biomedical and clinical sciences. They can also consider diverse publication sources, such as preprints.


This study offers insights into the news coverage of top social-attention academic articles and is among the first to analyze the news coverage of academic publications.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at:



Nabavi, M. (2024), "Coverage of the research documents with top altmetric attention scores in online news", Online Information Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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