Frequently asked questions

Before we get started here are some frequently asked questions for you to read through - remember we’re here to help so if there’s anything thats not covered please feel free to contact Support on

What’s the purpose of this guide?

This guide walks you through the information you will need to provide Altmetric in order to build your configured instance of Explorer for Institutions. It explains the different integrations available for you to send us your publications data. We also outline the implementation process as well as the support and training we offer once your contract is signed.

What is a configured Explorer for Institutions instance?

A configured Explorer for Institutions instance is a filtered, dashboard view within Explorer for Institutions that allows you to isolate just the research outputs from your organization. It also allows you to view by author and configured departments or groupings of interest (e.g. faculty, school, funder, grant ID, theme, project, therapeutic area, open access status, etc.). You also get access to the full Altmetric database in your EFI subscription - all research outputs we have ever tracked.


A department or grouping is just a way of structuring your data in a way that is most useful in your Altmetric reporting. It could be a university hierarchy or, if your organization is more interested in filtering by country, then you could apply country names to your publications.

How does Altmetric build our configured instance of Explorer for Institutions?

Altmetric collects attention data for outputs that have been mentioned online across a range of sources. As items in the Altmetric database are not organized by institution, you’ll need to send us your publications data in order for us set up your institutional instance of Explorer for Institutions with outputs produced by your own authors, as well as your departments or groups.

We will look into your existing publications systems, we currently support the following integrations:

  1. Research Information Management System, e.g. Symplectic Elements or Pure.

  2. Institutional repository via OAI-PMH, e.g. EPrints, DSpace, Haplo or Esploro

  3. CRIStin

  4. CSV/Excel spreadsheet

Altmetric then populates Explorer for Institutions by linking your set of publications, authors and departments with the scholarly publications already tracked in the Altmetric database. This enables you to browse the altmetrics of your institutional outputs within your organizational structure.

Instructions on setting up each integration type can be found in the populating efi with your data section.

What information does Altmetric need from us to populate our instance?

Altmetric requires the following information via any of the methods above to populate your instance of Explorer for Institutions:

  1. Scholarly identifiers for research outputs, e.g. DOI, PMID, ISBN, etc.

  2. Author names

  3. Author identifiers

  4. Departmental/group affiliations for each research output

  5. Organizational group hierarchy

How is our Explorer instance updated?

If your Explorer for Institutions instance is populated via a publications repository, API, CRIS or other system, it will update automatically. Automatic updates are set to run weekly, although this may be set more frequently based on the number of publications in your system. Update frequency will be set during your implementation.


Let us know if it is crucial your instance updates to a specific schedule.

If your Explorer for Institutions instance is populated via a CSV/Excel spreadsheet, the instance needs to be kept up to date manually by one or more administrators within your institution.

What is a typical implementation process?

The Explorer for Institutions implementation process is as follows:

  1. Before the contract is signed, Altmetric will review your publications data to ensure we can build a configured Explorer for Institutions instance.

  2. After the contract is signed, your Account Manager will hand over to the Altmetric regional Engagement Manager to begin the project, they will be your main contact point at Altmetric.

  3. The Engagement Manager begins the implementation with a kick-off call. On the call, we will talk through the implementation process, discuss how we will collect your data to populate your configurable Explorer for Institutions instance, explain the support we offer and how to improve roll-out of the Explorer for Institutions, they will confirm launch timelines, and answer any questions you may have. It’s useful to assign a key contact to the project on your team and invite your technical lead/publications manager to the kick-off meeting.

  4. Once your data source is agreed and received by Altmetric, we will build your customized Explorer for Institutions instance. You will be kept up-to-date via email. This typically takes around two weeks.

  5. When your configured instance is live and populated with your data, we send you the details of how to login, explain your dashboard and offer the opportunity for feedback.

  6. A training session, likely online will also be scheduled at this time.

  7. The implementation phase is now complete! We’ll explain how you can contact our Support Team throughout your subscription to ask questions.

How long does an implementation take?

A typical Explorer for Institutions implementation takes 2-3 weeks from receiving your data source. When we receive your API endpoint or complete CSV file, your Engagement Manager will schedule in your Explorer for Institutions build with our technical team and advise on timelines. It helps our technical team if you can provide your data source as soon as possible after the contract has been signed/initial kick-off call, in order for us to launch your instance by your contract start date.

What support is available during our implementation?

Our dedicated Engagement Managers are on hand to guide you through the process and ensure your configured instance is launched within an agreed timeframe. The team manages all Explorer for Institutions implementation projects and provides ongoing support throughout. If you have any questions, we’ll get back to you within at least 24 hours, during a working week.