SZNAltmetric first release

Thursday, 4 April 2013 in dev journal by Vincent Tourraine

Altmetric is a very useful tool for researchers, specialized in article level metrics. It evaluates the impact of a scientific article by referencing all kinds of mentions, from social media sites to newspapers and magazines.

Today, we are releasing the first version of SZNAltmetric, an Open Source Objective-C client for the Altmetric API. It makes it easy for developers to interact with the service and exploits its data for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac applications.

How to use

We wanted to make it as simple as possible to fetch details about an article from the API, so here is how it looks like:

// Let’s specify an API key (optional)
SZNAltmetricAPIClient *client = [SZNAltmetricAPIClient sharedClient];
client.APIKey = @"###abc123###";

// Okay, now let’s fetch some data
[client fetchArticleWithDOI:@"###DOI###"
                    success:^(SZNAltmetricArticle *article) {
                        // We have the article, 
                        // we can log the Altmetric score
                        NSLog(@"%@", [article.score stringValue]);
                    } failure:nil];

As you can see, we have just requested an article based on its DOI (you can also use Altmetric ID, PubMed ID, arXiv ID, and ADS Bibcode). What you get is a SZNAltmetricArticle object, containing all the identifiers, the Altmetric score, and even the URLs to the “donuts” images.

With just a bit of user interface, here’s how it looks like, on the iPhone, and on Mac OS X:

Demo on iOS

Demo on OS X

Last but not least, SZNAltmetric is now one of the first OS X projects to be tested on Travis CI. Everyone can check the build status, and make sure that the code is safe to use.

What’s next

SZNAltmetric is still fairly limited right now, as we only extract a small amount of data from the API. We intend to develop the client in order to get the most out of the service.

If you are working on Objective-C applications and considering to interact with the Altmetric API, we hope this first version will get you interested. We are looking forward to getting some feedback, so feel free to take a look at it at