Research Data Explored: Citations versus Altmetrics

Isabella Peters, Peter Kraker, Elisabeth Lex, Christian Gumpenberger, Juan Gorraiz

Research output: Working paperPreprint


The study explores the citedness of research data, its distribution over time and how it is related to the availability of a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) in Thomson Reuters' DCI (Data Citation Index). We investigate if cited research data "impact" the (social) web, reflected by altmetrics scores, and if there is any relationship between the number of citations and the sum of altmetrics scores from various social media-platforms. Three tools are used to collect and compare altmetrics scores, i.e. PlumX, ImpactStory, and In terms of coverage, PlumX is the most helpful altmetrics tool. While research data remain mostly uncited (about 85%), there has been a growing trend in citing data sets published since 2007. Surprisingly, the percentage of the number of cited research data with a DOI in DCI has decreased in the last years. Only nine repositories account for research data with DOIs and two or more citations. The number of cited research data with altmetrics scores is even lower (4 to 9%) but shows a higher coverage of research data from the last decade. However, no correlation between the number of citations and the total number of altmetrics scores is observable. Certain data types (i.e. survey, aggregate data, and sequence data) are more often cited and receive higher altmetrics scores.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2015

Publication series e-Print archive
PublisherCornell University Library


  • research data
  • citations
  • altmetrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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