Name: Policy mentions
Can apply to: Primarily research items such as peer reviewed articles and books.
Metric definition: The number of times a research item has been cited in policy or guidelines documents
Metric calculation: The total count of citations to a research item in the policy sources being tracked by the metric provider.
Data sources: Governmental and non-governmental policy documents and guidelines.
Appropriate use cases: Policy mentions, when presented in context, can be used to demonstrate how research has been turned into action by influencing public policy. According to Weiss, the possible types of influence include the instrumental use of data to inform policy decisions, value justifications, and agenda setting (Weiss, 1979).
Limitations: Research and researchers may influence policy and decision making in indirect ways that are, therefore, not trackable via policy citations (Konkiel, 2016).
Inappropriate use cases: Policy mentions are not a direct measure of a research item’s influence on practice.
Available metric sources: Altmetric.com for a diverse set of policy sources accross domains; PlumX for clinical guideline sources.
Transparency: Via Altmetric.com one can access the full-text source of the policy mentions. However, Altmetric.com does not make their full list of tracked policy sources available. Via PlumX one can access the full-text source of the PubMed or NICE citing guideline.
Website: Not applicable.
Timeframe: Altmetric has been tracking policy mentions since 2013. PlumX has been tracking clinical guideline citations since 2016.