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Thoughts on metrics for OA monographs

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Presentation by Graham Stone, Jisc

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OA monographs metrics workshop
October 2019
14 October 2019
This photo, “Action at a distance: pamphlet in progress” is copyright (c) 2012 sanickels and made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence
OA monograph reports
OA monographs metrics workshop2
2019: the year of the OA monograph report!
Some thoughts about monograph metrics
OA monographs metrics workshop3
Two sides of the same coin?
“One of the overarching challenges, though, remains fact that bibliometrics are
inextricably associated with research assessment”
• Metrics for ‘assessment’ (funder or institutional VfM) and metrics for authors have certain
factors in common
• There is potential to develop both alongside each other
• There is also a need to highlight these developments to researchers
Survey to authors of Open Access books
OA monographs metrics workshop4
Gathering information about authors’ and editors’ understanding of book metrics
• 28 respondents from nine countries
• Mostly authors within Arts & Humanities disciplines
• 16 (57%) have published 5 books or more
• Sofie Wennström, Gabor Schubert, Graham Stone, Jeroen Sondervan. The significant difference
in impact: An exploratory study about the meaning and value of metrics for open access
monographs. ELPUB 2019 23rd edition of the International Conference on Electronic Publishing,
Jun 2019, Marseille, France. ⟨hal-02141879⟩
Survey to authors of Open Access books
OA monographs metrics workshop5
What metrics have the most value?
• Downloads scored highest and citations were ranked second
• Twitter mentions was the least valuable measure
• Mentions in the news and number of sold print books was also rather popular answers
Some thoughts about monograph metrics
OA monographs metrics workshop6
What is ‘highly cited’?
• <50% did not know what would count as a highly cited book
• 68% of the respondents said 30–50 citations is considered high
• Their expectations seems to be inflated, as there is no benchmark
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Thoughts on metrics for OA monographs

  • 1. OA monographs metrics workshop October 2019 14 October 2019 This photo, “Action at a distance: pamphlet in progress” is copyright (c) 2012 sanickels and made available under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 licence
  • 2. OA monograph reports OA monographs metrics workshop2 2019: the year of the OA monograph report!
  • 3. Some thoughts about monograph metrics OA monographs metrics workshop3 Two sides of the same coin? “One of the overarching challenges, though, remains fact that bibliometrics are inextricably associated with research assessment” • Metrics for ‘assessment’ (funder or institutional VfM) and metrics for authors have certain factors in common • There is potential to develop both alongside each other • There is also a need to highlight these developments to researchers
  • 4. Survey to authors of Open Access books OA monographs metrics workshop4 Gathering information about authors’ and editors’ understanding of book metrics • 28 respondents from nine countries • Mostly authors within Arts & Humanities disciplines • 16 (57%) have published 5 books or more • Sofie Wennström, Gabor Schubert, Graham Stone, Jeroen Sondervan. The significant difference in impact: An exploratory study about the meaning and value of metrics for open access monographs. ELPUB 2019 23rd edition of the International Conference on Electronic Publishing, Jun 2019, Marseille, France. ⟨hal-02141879⟩
  • 5. Survey to authors of Open Access books OA monographs metrics workshop5 What metrics have the most value? • Downloads scored highest and citations were ranked second • Twitter mentions was the least valuable measure • Mentions in the news and number of sold print books was also rather popular answers
  • 6. Some thoughts about monograph metrics OA monographs metrics workshop6 What is ‘highly cited’? • <50% did not know what would count as a highly cited book • 68% of the respondents said 30–50 citations is considered high • Their expectations seems to be inflated, as there is no benchmark
  • 7. Some thoughts about monograph metrics OA monographs metrics workshop7 What is high impact in altmetrics? • ”I would only regard it as ‘high impact’ if it was mentioned by respected international colleagues or by students (if the book is a textbook). ” • ”High impact would be on downloads and citations - Twitter mentions are just that - and not indications of actual impact.” • ”Many people talking about (instead of just tweeting the title), but discussing content, asking questions, etc.” • “Depends on what I am trying to achieve. But I am interested in the global reach of open access and also engaging with readers outside of academia so measures of those would be helpful.”
  • 8. OA monograph reports OA monographs metrics workshop8 Questions for this afternoon? • How can we achieve minimum viable technical standards from publishers. Is there a role for funders in stimulating this discussion? • What might a metrics dashboard look like for the different stakeholder groups (researchers, libraries, publishers) • Do you have any other ideas for innovations in metrics for OA monographs to make them interesting for researchers? • What is Jisc’s role in supporting the development of the above?

Editor's Notes

  1. at the HIRMEOS workshop, Lucy Montgomery suggested that author involvement in promoting books makes a huge difference. Our survey could be looked at in context to that and also that many traditional metrics may not be fit for purpose for OA monographs The survey had a low response rate, so the results are merely an indication and should not be taken as a definitive dataset. Over half of those surveyed were Swedish, but we have checked for bias and there is none Many of the authors were well established in academia, had published many books. But they are still pioneers of OA
  2. Comment about downloads and citations is very interesting. There is an issue with downloads in that in an OA world, you cannot capture all downloads – there is also an argument to say that downloads are not the best metric for impact. There is certainly an argument against citations/impact factor Regarding print sales and Twitter, this is evidence from our small sample that although the authors are early adopters of OA, they haven’t changed their expectations from a print world
  3. This slide illustrates to us, that although authors rank citation highly, they are uncertain about what highly cited even means -in fact we are fairly sure that for the monograph, none of us really knows the answer to this question.
  4. These comments reinforce our previous point that there is still much to do around the use of social media and encouraging authors to market their own work in this way. Regarding the second quote, we think the opposite – downloads are not a sign of impact per se – we don’t know whether the book was read, however, tweets are a sign of immediate impact – sign of initial interest that could be capitalised upon by the author The final comment is very valuable and underlines some of the comments from Sunday’s workshop. Usage can indicate the global reach of an OA book via geolocation. This is a new measure of impact