Kraker Peter, Peters Isabella, Lex Elisabeth, Gumpenberger Christian , Gorraiz Juan
Research data explored: an extended analysis of citations and alt metrics
Journal of Scientometrics, Springer Link, Springer-Verlag, Cham, 2016
In this study, we explore the citedness of research data, its distribution overtime and its relation to the availability of a digital object identifier (DOI) in the ThomsonReuters database Data Citation Index (DCI). We investigate if cited research data ‘‘im-pacts’’ the (social) web, reflected by altmetrics scores, and if there is any relationshipbetween the number of citations and the sum of altmetrics scores from various social mediaplatforms. Three tools are used to collect altmetrics scores, namely PlumX, ImpactStory,and Altmetric.com, and the corresponding results are compared. We found that out of thethree altmetrics tools, PlumX has the best coverage. Our experiments revealed thatresearch data remain mostly uncited (about 85 %), although there has been an increase inciting data sets published since 2008. The percentage of the number of cited research datawith a DOI in DCI has decreased in the last years. Only nine repositories are responsible for research data with DOIs and two or more citations. The number of cited research datawith altmetrics ‘‘foot-prints’’ is even lower (4–9 %) but shows a higher coverage ofresearch data from the last decade. In our study, we also found no correlation between thenumber of citations and the total number of altmetrics scores. Yet, certain data types (i.e.survey, aggregate data, and sequence data) are more often cited and also receive higheraltmetrics scores. Additionally, we performed citation and altmetric analyses of allresearch data published between 2011 and 2013 in four different disciplines covered by theDCI. In general, these results correspond very well with the ones obtained for research datacited at least twice and also show low numbers in citations and in altmetrics. Finally, weobserved that there are disciplinary differences in the availability and extent of altmetricsscores.