Measuring Societal Impact with PlumX Metrics and Overton

In PlumX Metrics, we have 3 citation metric categories that help demonstrate the societal impact of a piece of research output – Clinical, Patent and Policy citations. These citations help researchers, institutions and funders demonstrate public engagement with their research.

When we first started incorporating policy citations back in 2017, we found that navigating the world of policy documents was very complex. Policy documents are produced by many different types of organizations such as government agencies, think tanks, NGOs and IGOs. Policy documents occur in many shapes and forms, as reports, guidelines, recommendations, laws, books, white papers, etc. Not all policy documents are publicly available. Getting access to policy documents and then extracting the citation data at scale, was a challenge.

Over the past few years, one company has focused on building the largest collection of policy documents available. That company is Overton, founded by Euan Adie (former founder of Altmetric). Overton is collecting policy data from 182 countries and more than 1,500 sources.

We are pleased to now include in PlumX Metrics, policy citations to journal articles from Overton, growing our policy citation coverage exponentially!

You can see policy citations from Overton, alongside existing policy citations PlumX has previously curated. We have de-duplicated these where we had overlap, so no need to worry about double counting.

In the Policy Citations area of a PlumX artifact page, you’ll see the name of the policy document, the publication date and the name of the policy organization, along with links to a preview page on Overton’s platform and another link to the policy document itself at the source website.

Here’s an example:

You’ll be able to see Overton policy citations wherever you find PlumX Metrics, including Scopus, Science Direct, Pure, Digital Commons, SSRN, Engineering Village and Elsevier journal websites.

More examples of policy citations in PlumX:
Science Direct
Digital Commons

We hope you find this new metric source valuable and welcome your feedback.