Laying the Groundwork for a New Library Service:
Scholar-Practitioner & Graduate Student Attitudes
Toward Altmetrics and t...
Scholarly Profile
Social Media + Traditional
Metrics
Altmetrics
New metrics based on
the Social Web for
analyzing, and
informing scholarship...
Altmetrics Tools
• http://scholar.google.ca
• http://www.mendeley.com
• http://impactstory.org
• http://www.plumanalytics....
Impact Story
Mendeley
PlumX
What Altmetrics Aren’t:
Be all and end all of impact measurement
Useful to compare between individuals
Throwing out tradit...
Why VIU/RRU?
Applied scholarship
Professional grad programs
Faculty role, teaching and scholarship
non traditional
Faculty...
Research Questions
What issues do scholar-practitioners & grad students face
when trying to establish, grow, & measure sch...
Methods
22 participants
45 min interviews with each
participant
Faculty were selected via
VIU’s Annual Report on
Research ...
Issues & Themes
Factors that influence participation/ interest
Perceived benefits/drawbacks of tools
How to make decisions...
“I’ve Searched For Myself in
Google...”
All participants had at least run their names through Google for
professional purp...
How Participants Saw
Themselves
Stage of career
Field of scholarly activity
Value that institution may/not place on resear...
How Participants Approached Publishing
Disciplinary dependent
Publishing as formula, game, or ritual hazing
Idea of dissem...
Engagement with Tools
Awareness of tools
Time
Time (again)
Which tools to use for what purpose
Stage of development of tho...
Participant Response
“I would book an appointment tomorrow”
“I think I got more out of this than you did”
Some tools more ...
Managing Scholarly Profile
Broad awareness of strategies, tools complements field-
specific understanding that scholars ma...
Thanks for Listening
rosie.croft@royalroads.ca
kathleen.reed@viu.ca // @kathleenreed
dana.mcfarland@viu.ca // @danamcfarla...
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Laying the Groundwork for a New Library Service: Scholar-Practitioner & Graduate Student Attitudes Toward Altmetrics and the Curation of Online Profiles

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  • Thanks for coming to this session. Today I’m going to discuss a research project that I did with my colleagues Dana McFarland at VIU and Rosie Croft at Royal Roads University. We were interested in a possible service for faculty and senior students based around curating scholarly profiles online and measuring scholarly influence using alternative metrics (i.e. alt metrics). This presentation covers a research project that we did to establish whether individuals were interested in a potential service like this, and if so, what would they want from it?
  • What do I mean when I say “scholarly profile”? Pretty much any info about an individual’s scholarly work that you can find online. Websites, social media, institutional repositories, journals, books (including Amazon rank). People in our study often mentioned academia.edu and Linked In (although many pondered what the purpose of LI was other to send spammy emails).
    With so many possible tools (and login/passwords!) we thought there might be an opportunity for librarians to consult with scholar-practitioners around how to manage all their options to make sure their info was where they wanted it and being accessed.
    People were surprised to realize they have a scholarly profile already – co-authors putting things online, Google Scholar and other services scraping the web.
  • You’ve got these online tools that help scholar-practitioners spread their ideas in ways that aren’t just traditional print journals and books anymore.
    conditions led to need for tools to be created that could show a more nuanced understanding of impact than currently available via journal rankings and citation counts.
    We needed something that would show us which scholarly products are read, discussed, saved and recommended as well as cited.
    SocMed developed and combined with traditional journal metrics (journal impact rank, article citation counts) to form altmetrics (alternative metrics)
    “Altmetrics" only dates from 2010, when Jason Priem, doctoral candidate at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, first used it in, fittingly, a tweet.
    Led to an influential manifesto written by Mr. Priem and three other researchers.
  • Looking at first 4
    -notable that some, like reader meter, die
    -discipline themed too
    -proprietary systems
  • -value of cross platform aggregation perceived
    -inclusion of both scholarly and social metrics and utility in demonstrating knowledge mobilization
    -questions about reliability of the data, normalization
  • -Interest in item level reader analytics, novelty of this as an alternative measure to the citation
    -Reticence among scientists to see Mendeley as a real contender with ISI/endnote
    -One researcher still types out all his citations manually and never used a citation manager
  • Be all and end all of impact measurement - can be gamed, aren’t comprehensive
    Not useful to compare between individuals - instead use a story to tell of ways in which your work is being used in unexpected places
  • We were intrigued by early discussions of altmetrics at research-focused institutions.
    It occurred to us that these indicators could have as much to offer in teaching and practice-focused settings – if not more. Traditional impact measures have been exclusive in nature, and less relevant to applied, practical, emerging and interdisciplinary fields. Between those and SEO there has been a gaping hole.
    This slide notes characteristics shared by VIU and RRU that we thought might predispose our scholarly communities to benefit particularly from the promise of altmetrics – use/impact/value beyond the academy, emphasis on application and practice, non-traditional approaches
  • 3 main research questions:
    What issues do scholar-practitioners, grad students face when trying to establish, grow, measure scholarly presence on the web?
    How do scholar-practitioners, grad students perceive, negotiate issues scholarly presence on the web?
    How can librarians assist scholar-practitioners to create, discover & manage online reputation using traditional & emerging tools?
  • -22 semi-structured interviews (half from RRU, half from VIU), 5 interviews with grad students
    45 min interviews with each participant
    Faculty were selected via VIU’s Annual Report on Research & Scholarly Activity, presence in altmetrics toolsStudents were referred by interested faculty
    -results of the project represent a snapshot of our faculty and student interest in these services
  • We asked participants about the following issues and themes:
    Factors that influence participation/ interest in online tools to grow & measure scholar-practitioner influence
    Perceived benefits/drawbacks of tools
    How to make decisions about degree/nature of sharing
    Discipline-related themes
    Library role/value added
  • Getting into what we found… we started out trying to get a sense of participants’ general ideas and practices around tech tools and citation analysis.
    All participants had at least run their names through Google for professional purposes
    Some already knew of Google Scholar profiles, some didn’t. Some very strategic.
    General awareness of impact in relation to the concept of journal impact factor
    -not so clear on what an h-index is
    -Different disciplines favour different tools and services
    environmental scientist, no idea what WOS or scopus is (put people on the spot a bit though)
    Where participants had awareness of tools, tended to be narrow and deep – field-specific –
  • Whether or not participants felt that measuring impact & new altmetrics tools were important or not depended on several variables:
    Stage of career:
    -saw importance for young/new scholars even if they themselves weren’t interested
    -there are those for whom this has no relevance – not going somewhere else, not going for advancement, not researchers
    -Accordingly, may try to “assign” activity related to managing profile to juniors
    -varied importance by discipline
    -Institutional values, requirements for promotion, emphasis of institution
    -Need traditional sources for funding
    -Those on committees of granting bodies did not think these kinds of measures would be taken into account
    - one exception perceives that her tri-council agency already acknowledges and values her dissemination of work in non-traditional ways.
  • Diverse perspectives on the publication of research emerged:
    -highly disciplinary dependent - scientists not surprisingly concerned first and foremost with publishing in high impact journals.
    -Predisposition to see role/value of quantitative measures, standards and disambiguating tools, if in certain disciplines (chemists seeing Orcid number analogue to CAS number)
    -one researcher referred to the “formula” that gets articles published, easier to be accepted on subsequent submissions, publishing to build resume more than any other reason
    -some researchers cared most about their blog/webpage and getting info out that way. Saw it as being far more meaningfully influential
    How ppl publish is governed somewhat by accountability to institution, what profession they’re in, & source of funding
    Knowledge/interest in OA
  • Whether or not people engaged with altmetrics/soc media tools and to what extent depended on a number of factors:
    Awareness
    -part of what we asked about was the interviewees’ use of social media and whether or not they use it to drive dissemination of their research and/or measure dissemination of their research
    -very different answers that didn’t seem to fall along generational, cliched digital native/immigrant lines – some people philosophically averse to social media, some completely embrace it, some keep professional and personal divided, some couldn’t imagine why they would divide them
    -Many were using the usual in various ways: Linked-in quite popular (generally despised), Facebook somewhat, twitter less so, some passionate bloggers, some failed bloggers. Interest in how to measure value of these efforts meaningfully.
    Time
    -almost all noted and/or feared the huge amount of time needed to discover and set up profiles, pages, blogs, etc.
    Time
    -almost all noted and/or feared the huge amount of time needed to keep the info in such services up to date
    What tools for what purpose
    Stage of development of tools
    How tools are viewed within their fields
    -fastidious aversion to self-promotion (uber-canadian? Discipline culture?); self-promotion vs research promotion – may be useful approach to create clear distinction between these in social media/networks
    -Questions about integrity/quality of the data/feedback from such sources – Facebook, etc traffic isn’t necessarily positive commentary; use of work for purposes not intended (J’s issue); conflicting reports of usage, etc., -- similar may be said of traditional measures – look at the # of citations the “vaccines cause ADD” study got
    Advan/Disadvtges of engaging with or reporting out results via social media
    -frustration or uncertainty about how metrics may be used or abused: accounts hacked, spammed, used against them in online public spaces, ppl picking up research for own purpose (climate change deniers), used to disadvantage in funding or advancement decisions, particularly in while they are emerging – really more indicators than measures
    -Concern about engaging in social media leading to flame wars
    -misapprehension by unsophisticated readers regarding the research
    outright enthusiasm for being able to present research output in diverse ways to engage with researchers/non-academic audiences directly
  • -plum analytics particularly impressive – appreciated for powerful visual representation of indicators
    -Varied perception of utility/importance in academic settings where metrics may not be key to career progression: even so, perceived use to support evaluation and maintenance of grants, recruitment of students, demonstrate value to community, constituency, funders – internal or external
  • Our research suggested a number of ways that the library can play a role in assisting scholar-practitioners with the set up and management of scholarly profiles.
    Broad awareness of strategies, tools complements field-specific understanding that scholars may have
    Guides, self help
    Workshops – department, faculty
    Integration with research methods grad curriculum
    Custom consultation
  • Laying the Groundwork for a New Library Service: Scholar-Practitioner & Graduate Student Attitudes Toward Altmetrics and the Curation of Online Profiles

    1. 1. Laying the Groundwork for a New Library Service: Scholar-Practitioner & Graduate Student Attitudes Toward Altmetrics and the Curation of Online Profiles Kathleen Reed Dana McFarland Rosie Croft @kathleenreed @danamcfarland Creative Commons Flickr user: refractious
    2. 2. Scholarly Profile
    3. 3. Social Media + Traditional Metrics Altmetrics New metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship (altmetrics.org) + = Creative Commons Flickr users: macloo, Wiley Asia Blog
    4. 4. Altmetrics Tools • http://scholar.google.ca • http://www.mendeley.com • http://impactstory.org • http://www.plumanalytics.com • http://orcid.org • http://altmetric.com • http://article-level-metrics.plos.org/alt-metrics/ • http://citedin.org/ • http://klout.com/home • http://www.carboncapturereport.org/
    5. 5. Impact Story
    6. 6. Mendeley
    7. 7. PlumX
    8. 8. What Altmetrics Aren’t: Be all and end all of impact measurement Useful to compare between individuals Throwing out traditional metrics
    9. 9. Why VIU/RRU? Applied scholarship Professional grad programs Faculty role, teaching and scholarship non traditional Faculty who apply scholarship to practice in the community (knowledge mobilization) Library engagement with emerging models of scholarly communication
    10. 10. Research Questions What issues do scholar-practitioners & grad students face when trying to establish, grow, & measure scholarly presence on the web? How do scholar-practitioners & grad students perceive & negotiate issues related to scholarly presence on the web? How can librarians assist scholar-practitioners to create, discover & manage online reputation using traditional & emerging tools?
    11. 11. Methods 22 participants 45 min interviews with each participant Faculty were selected via VIU’s Annual Report on Research & Scholarly Activity, presence in altmetrics tools Students were referred by interested faculty
    12. 12. Issues & Themes Factors that influence participation/ interest Perceived benefits/drawbacks of tools How to make decisions about degree/nature of sharing Discipline-related themes Library role/value added
    13. 13. “I’ve Searched For Myself in Google...” All participants had at least run their names through Google for professional purposes Some already knew of Google Scholar profiles, some didn’t. Some very strategic. General awareness of impact in relation to the concept of journal impact factor Different disciplines favour different tools and services
    14. 14. How Participants Saw Themselves Stage of career Field of scholarly activity Value that institution may/not place on research & publishing in faculty role In/formality of institutional requirements around research in promotion Relative emphasis on research, teaching, service Dependence on traditional impact measures to obtain, retain funding
    15. 15. How Participants Approached Publishing Disciplinary dependent Publishing as formula, game, or ritual hazing Idea of disseminating research beyond academe – knowledge mobilization & community impact Accountability to institution, profession, funder Knowledge of, interest in Open Access initiatives
    16. 16. Engagement with Tools Awareness of tools Time Time (again) Which tools to use for what purpose Stage of development of those tools How the tools are viewed within their field Advantages and disadvantages of engaging with or reporting out results from social media Creative Commons Flickr user: *casserpillar*
    17. 17. Participant Response “I would book an appointment tomorrow” “I think I got more out of this than you did” Some tools more mature than others Cool factor Skepticism How to make comparisons across disciplines Caution about being reduced to just numbers Promise of measuring value they’ve not been able to capture
    18. 18. Managing Scholarly Profile Broad awareness of strategies, tools complements field- specific understanding that scholars may have Guides, self help Workshops – department, faculty Integration with research methods grad curriculum Custom consultation
    19. 19. Thanks for Listening rosie.croft@royalroads.ca kathleen.reed@viu.ca // @kathleenreed dana.mcfarland@viu.ca // @danamcfarland

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