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OpenCon Research Evaluation Panel Altmetrics



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Introduction to Altmetrics
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OpenCon Research Evaluation Panel Altmetrics

  1. 1. Altmetrics for Research Evaluation Iara Vidal Pereira de Souza (@iaravps) PhD Student, non-practicing Librarian Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
  2. 2. Summary What are altmetrics? What do they mean for research evaluation? What are the relationships between altmetrics and openness?
  3. 3. What are altmetrics? A field: “The creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing and informing scholarship” (from A measure: “a social web indicator of an aspect of the value of academic articles” (from M. Thelwall & N. Maflahi, 2015, doi:10.1002/asi.23252)
  4. 4. Altmetrics: a manifesto / J. Priem, D. Taraborelli, P. Groth, C. Neylon (2010) Scholarship’s main filters for importance – peer review, citation counts, journal impact factor – are failing. Social Web allows us to follow uses that are invisible to traditional metrics Paper collections go from drawers to online reference managers, like Mendeley/Zotero; Conversations and debates now also happen on Twitter, blogs, Facebook...
  5. 5. Altmetrics providers What they all have in common: output-level metrics from lots of different sources – including traditional ones (citations) and others not related to social media (media outlets, grey literature)
  6. 6. Altmetrics and Research Evaluation: Promise Go beyond citations and track other impact “flavors” Go beyond academia and track impact over different audiences Go beyond the article and track multiple sources
  7. 7. Altmetrics and Research Evaluation: Reality Some funding agencies are already using altmetrics to support their strategies Wellcome Trust (UK) is one of them (see A. Dinsmore, L. Allen, K. Dolby, 2014, doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002003) Lack of identifiers makes it hard to get impact data, so many studies still focus on altmetrics as a way to predict journal article citations But progress is coming: see Depsy, a tool for tracking research software impact from the makers of ImpactStory
  8. 8. But what about openness? Altmetrics can help open outputs shine (R. Mounce, 2013, doi:10.1002/bult.2013.1720390406) This can be true not only for OA articles and repositories, but also for open data and OER The Open Access citation advantage is also observed with alternative metrics – open wins again!
  9. 9. Altmetrics are open! ... Aren’t they? According to the manifesto, yes: “They’re open – not just the data, but the scripts and algorithms that collect and interpret it.” But many sources for altmetric data are closed. Some have APIs (Twitter, Mendeley, Facebook…); others don’t even have that (Google Scholar, anyone?)
  10. 10. So why do I care about altmetrics... Focus on the alt: not just alternative metrics, outputs, audiences, but also: Alternative scholars (J.P. Alperin, 2013, doi:10.1002/bult.2013.1720390407): shine a light on research from the periphery And an alternative way to do research evaluation! Altmetrics are DIVERSE. It is not a single thing with a single meaning. And impact is diverse too. It can have lots of different flavors.
  11. 11. ... And why I think you should care too! More important than altmetrics themselves is the approach to research evaluation implicit in them: Granularity: judge works by their own merits, not by where they were published. Variety: not one metric to rule them all, but a fellowship of metrics!
  12. 12. Want to know more? Search for #altmetrics on Twitter Follow projects that try to create standards Altmetrics Initiative, lead by the US National Information Standards Organization – NISO ( CrossRef’s DOI Event Tracker Pilot ( Take a look at the PLOS Altmetrics Collection
  13. 13. Thank you! @iaravps