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Note: The code for this Altmetrics workflow has not been compiled with DSpace since upgrade to 5.x. There is now native Almetrics using an embedded API: config/modules/altmetrics.cfg.

IUScholarWorks manages an institutional repository for Indiana University using DSpace. The production version of our repository is here: the past year, we have upgraded to the most recent version of DSpace (Version 3.1) and enabled usage statistics using the built-in DSpace statistics mechanisms.

We became interested in incorporating altmetrics in addition to our built-in usage statistics. We decided to work with to use the services they provide to provide an embedded altmetric badge with DSpace items. We also decided to provide the ability for the badges to be turned on and off, for the repository as a whole (via a config file parameter) and for individual users (via item metadata). We currently have the service working on a non-public development instance of DSpace, and we hope to put it into production later this year.

Here is a file-by-file nutshell view of the changes that were made to the core DSpace 3.1 code to enable altmetrics to meet our needs.

  • Java code
    • dspace-xmlui/src/main/java/org/dspace/app/xmlui/aspect/statistics/
      • The only piece of Java code we had to change. We just added hooks to display the badge in the statistics panel when certain parameters are met, also passing the handle for the item as a parameter.
  • Config files
    • dspace.cfg
      • Added parameter to turn altmetric display on or off globally (xmlui.enablealtmetrics=true).
    • input-forms.xml
      • Added a metadata field entry to toggle the altmetrics badge on or off for individual items.
  • Theme 
    • IUSWRepository.xsl
      • Added an altmetric javascript call into every page, and added badge calls where appropriate.

The only additional steps that were necessary to hook everything up were compiling a list of DOI <-> Handle mappings for existing items, and working with to create a landing page that matched the look and feel of the IUScholarWorks repository.

If you'd like more details about how everything was hooked up to work together, email me at You can also view a set of slides about this topic that were presented at the Open Repositories 2013 conference here (

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