Introduction to Altmetrics


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Presentation given at the OKFN-AT Open Science Meetup in Vienna on Dec 10. More information here:

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Introduction to Altmetrics

  1. 1. Introduction to Altmetrics @PeterKraker Know-Center/Panton Fellow funded within the Austrian Competence Center Programme
  2. 2. Why Metrics? 2 @PeterKraker
  3. 3. “One of the diseases of this age is the multiplicity of books; they doth so overcharge the world that it is not able to digest the abundance of idle matter that is every day hatched and brought forth into the world.“ Attributed to Barnaby Rich in 1613 (Price 1963) 3 @PeterKraker
  4. 4. Information Overload in Science Information overload is NOT a contemporary problem in science Science has been growing exponentially for the last 400 years (Price 1961, 1963) Number of papers (Larsen/von Ins 2010) Number of researchers (NSB 2010) Instruments to deal with the overload Journals and conferences Peer review 4 Quantitative measures Price (1963)
  5. 5. Pathways through Science Science Citation Index (Garfield 1955)  Web of Science An index of incoming citations Purpose Discovery of literature that is not linked thematically Increased collaboration between researchers Evaluation of science 5 Garfield (1964)
  6. 6. Citation-based Metrics Impact Factor h-Index 6
  7. 7. Criticisms of Citation-based Metrics Citations take very long to appear in meaningful quantities Metrics are dependent on the corpus that is used for calculation A single indicator is not sufficient to assess impact 7
  8. 8. Setting the Stage for Alternative Metrics Increased use of online services in the scientific community E-Journals and pre-print/data archives Collaborative reference management systems (Micro-)blogs & social networks Seeing academic literature through the eyes of the readers (Rowlands & Nicholas 2007) Usage data (downloads, readership) Links, likes and shares 8
  9. 9. Altmetrics Altmetrics: alternative metrics based on data generated in online systems Promises of altmetrics Assess publications quicker and on a broader scale Consider all outputs of research The altmetrics manifesto: 9
  10. 10. Examples for Altmetrics PLOS Article-level Metrics ImpactStory 10
  11. 11. Problems of Altmetrics Intention unknown: What does it mean to download/save/tweet a paper? What does it mean to aggregate these numbers? Altmetrics are prone to sample biases (Bollen & van de Sompel 2008, Kraker et al. 2013)  There is a need for a better understanding of altmetrics  Altmetrics data needs to be open and reproducible 11
  12. 12. The Untapped Potential: Altmetrics for Discovery 12 Bollen et al. (2009)
  13. 13. References Bollen, J., & Sompel, H. Van De. (2008). Usage Impact Factor  The : Effects of Sample Characteristics on Usage-Based Impact Metrics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 59(1998), 136–149. Kraker, P., Jack, K., Schlögl, C., Trattner, C., & Lindstaedt, S. (2013). Head Start: Improving Academic Literature Search with Overview Visualizations based on Readership Statistics. In Web Science 2013. National Science Board. (2010). Science and Engineering Labor Force. Science and Engineering Indicators (Vol. 22 Suppl 1). National Science Foundation. Larsen, P. O., & von Ins, M. (2010). The rate of growth in scientific publication and the decline in coverage provided by Science Citation Index. Scientometrics, 84(3), 575–603. Price, D.(1961). Science since Babylon. Yale University Press. Price, D. (1963). Little science, big science. Columbia Univ. Press. 13
  14. 14. Thank You For Your Attention! Questions? Peter Kraker Know-Center Inffeldgasse 13 8010 Graz Austria 14