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From Reputation to Citation: Varying Roles for Scholarly Metrics


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Altmetrics and bibliometrics uses and best practices.

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From Reputation to Citation: Varying Roles for Scholarly Metrics

  1. 1. From Reputation to Citation: Varying Roles for Scholarly Metrics Elaine M. Lasda, MLS CAS Associate Librarian, University at Albany Special Libraries Association July 18, 2017
  2. 2. What I’m Going to Say: • Types of metrics/approaches for assessing research impact • Reputation • Bibliometric • Altmetric • Appropriate Usage and Best Practices • Grassroots Movements • Some common sense objectives Your-Bed-Little- Things/dp/1455570249
  3. 3. Why “Impact”?
  4. 4. Maximizing Research Impact Workshop • Author Identifiers (ORCID) •Bibliometrics (oldies, goodies and freebies) • Open Access Scholarship • Altmetrics • Three Quick Hits •ORCID •Scholars Archive (IR) •Author Profile in WoS/Scopus/GS
  5. 5. “Reputation” approach
  6. 6. “Squishy” Reputation Approaches • Colleagues – word of mouth • Colleagues – published surveys • Ulrich’s – content indexed in what dbs • Editorial Board composition • Peer researchers have published there • Published scholarly surveys of disciplinary experts
  7. 7. Caveats of Reputation Approach • Subjective • Overlook new journals/output platforms • Rely heavily on/misuse JIF metric • Survey methodologies vary & don’t always exist • Info can be outdated
  8. 8. Traditional citation metrics
  9. 9. Bibliometrics: Context and Background Pritchard, A. (1969). Statistical bibliography or bibliometrics. Journal of Documentation, 25, 348-9.
  10. 10. Traditional-ish • Citation count • JIF • SNIP/SJR • h-index/e-index, g-index, etc. • i-10
  11. 11. New(er) Citation-Based Tools • Cross disciplinary metrics • InCites • CiteScore • Viz! • Manuscript Matcher • PoP
  12. 12. Caveats of bibliometrics • Self citations • “Cartels” of scholars, journals • Significant variation in source datasets • Quality control vs. Inclusivity • Static or rigid disciplinary categories •emerging fields •inter- and multidisciplinary fields
  13. 13. Altmetrics (with a small “a”)
  14. 14. What are altmetrics? • ImpactStory • Altmetric • Bookmarklet: • Scholars Archive “donut” • PlumX In Ebscohost databases &bquery=(altmetrics+AND+are+AND+awesome)&type=0&site=eds-live&scope=site • Bought by Elseiver
  15. 15. Altmetrics: More of a Reputation or Citation Approach?
  16. 16. If a Tweet mentions your paper, does it make an impact?
  17. 17. Role of Altmetrics More of a quantifiable “reputation” indicator than empirical evidence of use Can overcome caveats of more “squishy” reputation approaches • Trendsetting/Immediacy • Transcends disciplinary “silos” • Can generate mainstream traction/impact • Leads (hopefully) to increased impact in scholarly peer reviewed literature (ie, boosts one’s citation count)
  18. 18. Caveats of altmetric approaches •Not Standardized •Transparency varies • Which scholars are on what platforms? •Who else is looking where our scholars look? •Proprietary academic social media •ResearchGate,, Mendeley, etc.
  19. 19. Whither “Gaming”?
  20. 20. Appropriate Usage of Scholarly Metrics
  21. 21. Rubber-Meets-the-Road Impact Schemas
  22. 22. Scholarly Metrics Best Practices • Use transparent methodologies • Supplemental to expert qualitative evaluation • Altmetrics serve as a reputation measure (for now) • Citation Metrics remain a more empirical measure • Contextualize the metric to your need • (institution, discipline, peer groups, country/region, journal, other?)
  23. 23. What I just talked about • Workshop to address researcher/scholar needs on campus • Reputation and empirical (citation) impact assessments are complementary • Gaming happens with all measures, as does dirty data • New approaches measure tangible outcomes of scholarly activity • Best practices include transparent methods, contextualized interpretation, and usage that is supplemental to expert qualitative evaluation (no magic numbers!!!)
  24. 24. Heeeere’s Richard! Elaine M. Lasda University at Albany @ElaineLibrarian