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Deep Impact [Factor]
Altmetrics from a PhD perspective
Jon Tennant
PhD student, Imperial College London
Seeking employment
Who am I..?
• Palaeontologist by day, none of your
business by night
• Interested in open science and science
communication
• Not a huge fan of legacy publishers
• http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7794-0218
• @Protohedgehog
• http://blogs.egu.eu/network/palaeoblog/
Altmetricon 2015
What are Altmetrics?
• A compliment to traditional metrics
(e.g., citation indices)
• Enhance how we understand the re-
use of research
• Highly variable – a ‘basket’ of metrics
• Four different categories:
• Scholarly activity (e.g Mendeley)
• Social activity representing brief
engagements
• Scholarly commentary (expert
blogs, Wikipedia)
• Mass media coverage
Savage (2015) Scientists in the Twitterverse, Cell, 162(2), 233-234
• Most publishers now employ some
sort of altmetric measuring system
The scope of Altmetrics
• Development of a ‘persona’ for
research and researchers
• Measures aspects of social
influence
• Recognises need for public
dissemination of research
• The role of social media in
communicating science
• Most effective platforms for
distributing research
http://errantscience.com/blog/2015/07/08/how-to-measure-a-
scientist/
• Online science communication now kind of a big deal
• Each aspect can be tracked and measured
Bik and Goldstein (2013)
An introduction to social
media for scientists,
PLOS Biology, 11(4),
e1001535
Altmetrics as a part of Open Science
Altmetrics as an essential tool for ECRs
• Blogging, tweeting etc. all now part of
mainstream science
• How do you measure the success of these?
• Part of the ‘open science’ toolkit for
researchers
• Goes beyond traditional measures of
‘impact’
• An integral part of 21st Century science
Impact factor disease
http://occamstypewriter.org/scurry/2012/08/13/sick-of-impact-
factors/
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnhum.20
13.00291/abstract
HEFCE metrics report
The rising metrics tide
The HEFCE metrics report
• Everyone is sceptical about the use of metrics in assessment
• Metrics can’t replace peer-review as the primary mode of assessment
• Assessment requires a combination of qualitative and carefully selected
quantitative indicators
• Metrics can be used to compliment narrative case studies
• The responsible use of metrics (which academics are great at..)
• Robustness
• Humility
• Transparency
• Diversity
• Reflexivity
What does the science say?
• arXiv articles show positive correlation between rapid citations and
downloads and Twitter mentions (Shuai et al., 2012, PLOS ONE)
• Highly tweeted articles 11x more likely to be cited (Eysenbach, 2011, JMIR)
• Social media therefore either increases citations, or reflects qualities that predict
citations, such as societal impact
• Twimpact factor! A ‘real-time’ impact metric?
• Different ‘flavours’ of ‘impact’ that capture different aspects of tools and
audiences (Priem et al., 2012, arXiv)
• Positive but weak correlations between altmetrics and citations (Costas et
al., 2014 arXiv) (early view)
• They capture different elements of the research dissemination process
Scopus article-level metrics
•Citation count and percentile
benchmark
•Field-Weighted Citation Impact
•Mendeley readership count and
benchmark
•Count of scholarly commentary
(e.g., blog posts, Wikipedia)
•Count and benchmark of social
activity (e.g., Twitter, Facebook)
•Total count of additional metrics
and link to see breakdown by
source
Do Altmetrics measure ‘quality’?
• What is ‘high quality’ research?
• What about journal and publisher brands, citation metrics, impact factors
(ugh..), peer-review procedures..?
• How do you measure inspiration? Education? Creativity? Innovation?
• How do Altmetrics fit into this?
• Is ‘quality’ even measurable..?
• http://trianglesci.org/2015/05/15/the-qualities-of-quality/
• The hyper-dimensionality of research
• Academic impact (e.g., originality rigour)
vs societal impact (i.e., reach)
Afterthoughts/coffee discussion points
• Altmetrics don’t solve our problem about assessing ‘impact’ of research
• But they do help us to think more about its societal reach
• Go beyond what traditional metrics show about research re-use
• Have to use metrics responsibly
• The reality of academia
• National Information Standards Initiative – altmetrics for software and data?
(details)
• What can ECRs do?
• Sign DORA! (12,300 individuals, 570 organisations)
• Discourage use of impact factors
• Encourage use of altmetrics and social media
• Influence performance metrics at an institutional level
Thanks for listening!

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Altmetricon 2015

  • 1. Deep Impact [Factor] Altmetrics from a PhD perspective Jon Tennant PhD student, Imperial College London Seeking employment
  • 2. Who am I..? • Palaeontologist by day, none of your business by night • Interested in open science and science communication • Not a huge fan of legacy publishers • http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7794-0218 • @Protohedgehog • http://blogs.egu.eu/network/palaeoblog/
  • 4. What are Altmetrics? • A compliment to traditional metrics (e.g., citation indices) • Enhance how we understand the re- use of research • Highly variable – a ‘basket’ of metrics • Four different categories: • Scholarly activity (e.g Mendeley) • Social activity representing brief engagements • Scholarly commentary (expert blogs, Wikipedia) • Mass media coverage Savage (2015) Scientists in the Twitterverse, Cell, 162(2), 233-234 • Most publishers now employ some sort of altmetric measuring system
  • 5. The scope of Altmetrics • Development of a ‘persona’ for research and researchers • Measures aspects of social influence • Recognises need for public dissemination of research • The role of social media in communicating science • Most effective platforms for distributing research http://errantscience.com/blog/2015/07/08/how-to-measure-a- scientist/
  • 6. • Online science communication now kind of a big deal • Each aspect can be tracked and measured Bik and Goldstein (2013) An introduction to social media for scientists, PLOS Biology, 11(4), e1001535
  • 7. Altmetrics as a part of Open Science
  • 8. Altmetrics as an essential tool for ECRs • Blogging, tweeting etc. all now part of mainstream science • How do you measure the success of these? • Part of the ‘open science’ toolkit for researchers • Goes beyond traditional measures of ‘impact’ • An integral part of 21st Century science
  • 12. The HEFCE metrics report • Everyone is sceptical about the use of metrics in assessment • Metrics can’t replace peer-review as the primary mode of assessment • Assessment requires a combination of qualitative and carefully selected quantitative indicators • Metrics can be used to compliment narrative case studies • The responsible use of metrics (which academics are great at..) • Robustness • Humility • Transparency • Diversity • Reflexivity
  • 13. What does the science say? • arXiv articles show positive correlation between rapid citations and downloads and Twitter mentions (Shuai et al., 2012, PLOS ONE) • Highly tweeted articles 11x more likely to be cited (Eysenbach, 2011, JMIR) • Social media therefore either increases citations, or reflects qualities that predict citations, such as societal impact • Twimpact factor! A ‘real-time’ impact metric? • Different ‘flavours’ of ‘impact’ that capture different aspects of tools and audiences (Priem et al., 2012, arXiv) • Positive but weak correlations between altmetrics and citations (Costas et al., 2014 arXiv) (early view) • They capture different elements of the research dissemination process
  • 14. Scopus article-level metrics •Citation count and percentile benchmark •Field-Weighted Citation Impact •Mendeley readership count and benchmark •Count of scholarly commentary (e.g., blog posts, Wikipedia) •Count and benchmark of social activity (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) •Total count of additional metrics and link to see breakdown by source
  • 15. Do Altmetrics measure ‘quality’? • What is ‘high quality’ research? • What about journal and publisher brands, citation metrics, impact factors (ugh..), peer-review procedures..? • How do you measure inspiration? Education? Creativity? Innovation? • How do Altmetrics fit into this? • Is ‘quality’ even measurable..? • http://trianglesci.org/2015/05/15/the-qualities-of-quality/ • The hyper-dimensionality of research • Academic impact (e.g., originality rigour) vs societal impact (i.e., reach)
  • 16. Afterthoughts/coffee discussion points • Altmetrics don’t solve our problem about assessing ‘impact’ of research • But they do help us to think more about its societal reach • Go beyond what traditional metrics show about research re-use • Have to use metrics responsibly • The reality of academia • National Information Standards Initiative – altmetrics for software and data? (details) • What can ECRs do? • Sign DORA! (12,300 individuals, 570 organisations) • Discourage use of impact factors • Encourage use of altmetrics and social media • Influence performance metrics at an institutional level