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Practical applications of altmetrics
Nicolas Robinson-Garcia
Objectives
➢ Analyze differences by altmetric data provider and
consequences from using one or the other
➢ Discuss critically which information of interest can be
obtained from the different altmetrics
➢ Develop creative solutions to respond to current demands
making use of altmetric data
Agenda
I. The altmetric toolbox
➢ Indicators
➢ Data collection and processing
II. Design of altmetric solutions
➢ Demands that can/not be addressed
➢ Interpreting altmetrics
III. Altmetrics in practice
➢ Monitoring attention
➢ Supporting case studies
The altmetric toolbox
WHICH ALTMETRIC PROVIDER SHOULD WE USE?
• Altmetric providers cover a wide and heterogenenous set of
indicators
• This set of indicators varies by altmetric provider
• Altmetric providers offer differing results for same indicators
• These differences are due to the data collection process
The altmetric toolbox
“Altmetrics is the study and use of scholarly
impact measures based on activity in online
tools and environments”
Priem, Groth & Taraborelli, 2012
The altmetric toolbox
Citations
News media
Policy documents
Open peer review
(F1000, Publons)
YouTube
Open Syllabus
Patents
…
The altmetric toolbox
Downloads-Usage
Citations
Library holdings
Video plays
Code forks
News media
Amazon reviews
Goodreads
…
Citations
News media
Policy documents
Open peer review
(F1000, Publons)
YouTube
Open Syllabus
Patents
…
The altmetric toolbox
The altmetric toolbox
TYPES OF ALTMETRIC PROVIDERS
• ALL IN ONE
− Almetric.com ← SPRINGER NATURE
− PlumX Analytics ← ELSEVIER
− CrossRef Event Data
− Lagotto ← PLOS
• BY DATA SOURCE
− Mendeley ← ELSEVIER
− Twitter
− Facebook
− ResearchGate
The altmetric toolbox
Social media
• Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus… Tweets, retweets, likes, users
Reference managers
• Mendeley, Zotero, ReadCube… Bookmarks, collections, readers
Research blogging
• Publishers, institutional, personal… Mentions, comments, links
OA content
• PLOS journals, DataCite, Github… Downloads, comments, views
SOURCES INDICATORS
ALTMETRIC.COM
SOURCES AND INDICATORS
• Public policy documents
• Blogs
• Mainstream media
• Citations (web of science / scopus)
• Online reference managers (mendeley)
• Research highlights (F1000)
• Post-publication peer-review platforms (pubpeer, publons)
• Social Media (Facebook public pages, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Sina,
Weibo and Pinterest)
• Open Syllabus Project
• Multimedia y otros (YouTube, Reddit y Q&A)
PLUMX ANALYTICS
SOURCES AND INDICATORS
LAGOTTO
SOURCES AND INDICATORS
Viewed
• PubMed Central Usage Stats
• Copernicus
Discussed
• Facebook, Twitter
• Blogs
• Wikipedia
• Reddit
• OpenEdition
Saved
• CiteULike
• Mendeley
Cited
• CrossRef, PubMed
• Scopus
• WoS
• DataCite
• Europe PMC
Recommended
• F1000 Prime
PLOS only
• Usage
• Figshare usage
• Comments
CROSSREF EVENT DATA
SOURCES AND INDICATORS
The altmetric toolbox
Zahedi & Costas, 2018
The altmetric toolbox
REASONS BEHIND THESE DIFFERENCES
• Data collection. Use of different APIs to access primary sources
• Aggregation and reporting. Differing strategies to identify mentions
and aggregating identifiers (i.e., DOIs, URLs)
• Data update. Update of data daily/weekly…
ALTMETRIC INDICATORS ARE UNSTABLE!!
Zahedi & Costas, 2018
The altmetric toolbox
Three tweets linking to three
different versions of the
same publication
The altmetric toolbox
Different versions of a publication
merged by Altmetric.com
Design of altmetric solutions
SOME CONSIDERATIONS
1. Goal
2. Altmetric sources ≈ Phenomenon analyzed
3. Selection of indicators
4. Selection of approach
Design of altmetric solutions
MONITORING
• The goal is to learn what is going
on
• Use of metrics should not ignore
uncertainty
• No direct consequences of its
results
• Superficial and exploratory
EVALUATING
• The goal is to assess if an
expected behavior/results is
taking place
• Altmetrics used as support to
other approaches
• Useful when combining with
qualitative analysis in case
studies
Design of altmetric solutions
INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS
CASE I. PROXY AND INDICATOR
ARE NOT ALIGNED
Twitter mentions as a proxy for
engagement with or consumption of
scientific literature
Robinson-Garcia et al., 2017
Design of altmetric solutions
INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS
CASE II. UNREPORTED CHANGES
IN ALTMETRIC PROVIDERS
Torres-Salinas, Robinson-Garcia & Gorraiz, Forthcoming
Design of altmetric solutions
INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS
CASE III. PROXY ALIGNED BUT
FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS
Costas @ ESSS Granada 2016
Design of altmetric solutions
INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS
CASE IV. ERRORS IN DATA
RETRIEVAL
Design of altmetric solutions
INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS
CASE V. MANY FALSE NEGATIVES
Paper is not linked in the tweet
but news media covering the
paper, therefore, this mention
is not tracked
Design of altmetric solutions
SELECTING INDICATORS
Bibliometric approach Altmetric approach
Design of altmetric solutions
SELECTING INDICATORS
Academics
SMEs, Non-profits,
Hospital,
Gov. Agencies,
Associations, Large
firms
SocietyAltmetrics
Design of altmetric solutions
SELECTING INDICATORS
Altmetric approach Relational approach
Design of altmetric solutions
APPROACHES
• Selection of data sources -> Primary sources vs. Aggregators
• Reporting -> Unidimensional vs. Relational visualizations
• Interpreting -> Numbers speak vs. Contextualization
Altmetrics in practice
MONITORING
http://knowmetrics.org/
Altmetrics in practice
MONITORING
Torres-Salinas
et al. 2016
Altmetrics in practice
MONITORING
Wouters, Zahedi & Costas, 2018
Altmetrics in practice
MONITORING
Altmetrics in practice
EVALUATING
PROFILING SCHOLARS
HIGH SOC | HIGH SCI
D’Este, Ramos-Vielba &
Robinson-Garcia, 2018
Research area (topics) Nutrition and food science
(food technology, viticulture & enology,
Mediterranean-style diet)
Publication record 74 pubs – 46% Top 10% Highly cited
Altmetric record 63 pubs in social media – 21 policy briefs | 411
news | 186 blogs
Her work appears on scientific news (e.g.):
- Mediterranean diet
- Effects of cooking time of tomato sauce on health
Altmetrics in practice
EVALUATING
PROFILING SCHOLARS
Robinson-Garcia et al.,
2018
Public sector
NGO
Unknown
Academia
Private sector
Politicians
Social spheres of
interest of researchers
Altmetrics in practice
EVALUATING
ANALYZING RECEPTION OF
RESEARCH INITIATIVES
Altmetrics in practice
EVALUATING
ANALYZING RECEPTION OF
RESEARCH INITIATIVES
Practical applications of altmetrics
Nicolas Robinson-Garcia @nrobinsongarcia
Design of altmetric solutions
OTHER EXAMPLES
http://almreports.plos.org
References
D’Este, P., Ramos-Vielba, I., Robinson-Garcia, N. Reconciling scientific impact and societal relevance: The role of pro-social motivation
and productive interactions. XVI Triple Helix Conference, Sept. 5-8, Manchester, United Kingdom
Priem, J., Groth, P., & Taraborelli, D. (2012). The Altmetrics Collection. PLOS ONE, 7(11), e48753.
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048753
Robinson-Garcia, N., van Leeuwen, T. N., & Rafols, I. (2018). Using Almetrics for Contextualised Mapping of Societal Impact: From Hits
to Networks. Science and Public Policy. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scy024
Robinson-Garcia, N., Costas, R., Isett, K., Melkers, J., & Hicks, D. (2017). The unbearable emptiness of tweeting—About journal articles.
PLOS ONE, 12(8), e0183551. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183551
Torres-Salinas, D., Gumpenberger, C., & Gorraiz, J. (2017). PlumX As a Potential Tool to Assess the Macroscopic Multidimensional
Impact of Books. Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2017.00005
Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., & Gorraiz, J. (2017). Filling the citation gap: measuring the multidimensional impact of the
academic book at institutional level with PlumX. Scientometrics, 113(3), 1371–1384.
Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., & Jiménez-Contreras, E. (2016). Can we use altmetrics at the institutional level? A case study
analysing the coverage by research areas of four Spanish universities. In STI 2016 Conference: Peripheries, frontiers and beyond.
Valencia. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.00232
Wouters, P., Zahedi, Z., & Costas, R. (2018). Social media metrics for new research evaluation. In W. Glänzel, H. F. Moed, U. Schmoch, &
M. Thelwall (Eds.), Handbook of Quantitative Science and Technology Research. Springer. Retrieved from
https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.10541
Zahedi, Z., & Costas, R. (2018). General discussion of data quality challenges in social media metrics: Extensive comparison of four
major altmetric data aggregators. PLOS ONE, 13(5), e0197326. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197326

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Practical applications of altmetrics

  • 1. Practical applications of altmetrics Nicolas Robinson-Garcia
  • 2. Objectives ➢ Analyze differences by altmetric data provider and consequences from using one or the other ➢ Discuss critically which information of interest can be obtained from the different altmetrics ➢ Develop creative solutions to respond to current demands making use of altmetric data
  • 3. Agenda I. The altmetric toolbox ➢ Indicators ➢ Data collection and processing II. Design of altmetric solutions ➢ Demands that can/not be addressed ➢ Interpreting altmetrics III. Altmetrics in practice ➢ Monitoring attention ➢ Supporting case studies
  • 4. The altmetric toolbox WHICH ALTMETRIC PROVIDER SHOULD WE USE? • Altmetric providers cover a wide and heterogenenous set of indicators • This set of indicators varies by altmetric provider • Altmetric providers offer differing results for same indicators • These differences are due to the data collection process
  • 5. The altmetric toolbox “Altmetrics is the study and use of scholarly impact measures based on activity in online tools and environments” Priem, Groth & Taraborelli, 2012
  • 7. Citations News media Policy documents Open peer review (F1000, Publons) YouTube Open Syllabus Patents … The altmetric toolbox
  • 8. Downloads-Usage Citations Library holdings Video plays Code forks News media Amazon reviews Goodreads … Citations News media Policy documents Open peer review (F1000, Publons) YouTube Open Syllabus Patents … The altmetric toolbox
  • 9. The altmetric toolbox TYPES OF ALTMETRIC PROVIDERS • ALL IN ONE − Almetric.com ← SPRINGER NATURE − PlumX Analytics ← ELSEVIER − CrossRef Event Data − Lagotto ← PLOS • BY DATA SOURCE − Mendeley ← ELSEVIER − Twitter − Facebook − ResearchGate
  • 10. The altmetric toolbox Social media • Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus… Tweets, retweets, likes, users Reference managers • Mendeley, Zotero, ReadCube… Bookmarks, collections, readers Research blogging • Publishers, institutional, personal… Mentions, comments, links OA content • PLOS journals, DataCite, Github… Downloads, comments, views SOURCES INDICATORS
  • 11. ALTMETRIC.COM SOURCES AND INDICATORS • Public policy documents • Blogs • Mainstream media • Citations (web of science / scopus) • Online reference managers (mendeley) • Research highlights (F1000) • Post-publication peer-review platforms (pubpeer, publons) • Social Media (Facebook public pages, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Sina, Weibo and Pinterest) • Open Syllabus Project • Multimedia y otros (YouTube, Reddit y Q&A)
  • 13. LAGOTTO SOURCES AND INDICATORS Viewed • PubMed Central Usage Stats • Copernicus Discussed • Facebook, Twitter • Blogs • Wikipedia • Reddit • OpenEdition Saved • CiteULike • Mendeley Cited • CrossRef, PubMed • Scopus • WoS • DataCite • Europe PMC Recommended • F1000 Prime PLOS only • Usage • Figshare usage • Comments
  • 14. CROSSREF EVENT DATA SOURCES AND INDICATORS
  • 16. The altmetric toolbox REASONS BEHIND THESE DIFFERENCES • Data collection. Use of different APIs to access primary sources • Aggregation and reporting. Differing strategies to identify mentions and aggregating identifiers (i.e., DOIs, URLs) • Data update. Update of data daily/weekly… ALTMETRIC INDICATORS ARE UNSTABLE!! Zahedi & Costas, 2018
  • 17. The altmetric toolbox Three tweets linking to three different versions of the same publication
  • 18. The altmetric toolbox Different versions of a publication merged by Altmetric.com
  • 19. Design of altmetric solutions SOME CONSIDERATIONS 1. Goal 2. Altmetric sources ≈ Phenomenon analyzed 3. Selection of indicators 4. Selection of approach
  • 20. Design of altmetric solutions MONITORING • The goal is to learn what is going on • Use of metrics should not ignore uncertainty • No direct consequences of its results • Superficial and exploratory EVALUATING • The goal is to assess if an expected behavior/results is taking place • Altmetrics used as support to other approaches • Useful when combining with qualitative analysis in case studies
  • 21. Design of altmetric solutions INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS CASE I. PROXY AND INDICATOR ARE NOT ALIGNED Twitter mentions as a proxy for engagement with or consumption of scientific literature Robinson-Garcia et al., 2017
  • 22. Design of altmetric solutions INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS CASE II. UNREPORTED CHANGES IN ALTMETRIC PROVIDERS Torres-Salinas, Robinson-Garcia & Gorraiz, Forthcoming
  • 23. Design of altmetric solutions INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS CASE III. PROXY ALIGNED BUT FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS Costas @ ESSS Granada 2016
  • 24. Design of altmetric solutions INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS CASE IV. ERRORS IN DATA RETRIEVAL
  • 25. Design of altmetric solutions INTERPRETING ALTMETRICS CASE V. MANY FALSE NEGATIVES Paper is not linked in the tweet but news media covering the paper, therefore, this mention is not tracked
  • 26. Design of altmetric solutions SELECTING INDICATORS Bibliometric approach Altmetric approach
  • 27. Design of altmetric solutions SELECTING INDICATORS Academics SMEs, Non-profits, Hospital, Gov. Agencies, Associations, Large firms SocietyAltmetrics
  • 28. Design of altmetric solutions SELECTING INDICATORS Altmetric approach Relational approach
  • 29. Design of altmetric solutions APPROACHES • Selection of data sources -> Primary sources vs. Aggregators • Reporting -> Unidimensional vs. Relational visualizations • Interpreting -> Numbers speak vs. Contextualization
  • 34. Altmetrics in practice EVALUATING PROFILING SCHOLARS HIGH SOC | HIGH SCI D’Este, Ramos-Vielba & Robinson-Garcia, 2018 Research area (topics) Nutrition and food science (food technology, viticulture & enology, Mediterranean-style diet) Publication record 74 pubs – 46% Top 10% Highly cited Altmetric record 63 pubs in social media – 21 policy briefs | 411 news | 186 blogs Her work appears on scientific news (e.g.): - Mediterranean diet - Effects of cooking time of tomato sauce on health
  • 35. Altmetrics in practice EVALUATING PROFILING SCHOLARS Robinson-Garcia et al., 2018 Public sector NGO Unknown Academia Private sector Politicians Social spheres of interest of researchers
  • 36. Altmetrics in practice EVALUATING ANALYZING RECEPTION OF RESEARCH INITIATIVES
  • 37. Altmetrics in practice EVALUATING ANALYZING RECEPTION OF RESEARCH INITIATIVES
  • 38. Practical applications of altmetrics Nicolas Robinson-Garcia @nrobinsongarcia
  • 39. Design of altmetric solutions OTHER EXAMPLES http://almreports.plos.org
  • 40. References D’Este, P., Ramos-Vielba, I., Robinson-Garcia, N. Reconciling scientific impact and societal relevance: The role of pro-social motivation and productive interactions. XVI Triple Helix Conference, Sept. 5-8, Manchester, United Kingdom Priem, J., Groth, P., & Taraborelli, D. (2012). The Altmetrics Collection. PLOS ONE, 7(11), e48753. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048753 Robinson-Garcia, N., van Leeuwen, T. N., & Rafols, I. (2018). Using Almetrics for Contextualised Mapping of Societal Impact: From Hits to Networks. Science and Public Policy. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scy024 Robinson-Garcia, N., Costas, R., Isett, K., Melkers, J., & Hicks, D. (2017). The unbearable emptiness of tweeting—About journal articles. PLOS ONE, 12(8), e0183551. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183551 Torres-Salinas, D., Gumpenberger, C., & Gorraiz, J. (2017). PlumX As a Potential Tool to Assess the Macroscopic Multidimensional Impact of Books. Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/frma.2017.00005 Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., & Gorraiz, J. (2017). Filling the citation gap: measuring the multidimensional impact of the academic book at institutional level with PlumX. Scientometrics, 113(3), 1371–1384. Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., & Jiménez-Contreras, E. (2016). Can we use altmetrics at the institutional level? A case study analysing the coverage by research areas of four Spanish universities. In STI 2016 Conference: Peripheries, frontiers and beyond. Valencia. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1606.00232 Wouters, P., Zahedi, Z., & Costas, R. (2018). Social media metrics for new research evaluation. In W. Glänzel, H. F. Moed, U. Schmoch, & M. Thelwall (Eds.), Handbook of Quantitative Science and Technology Research. Springer. Retrieved from https://arxiv.org/abs/1806.10541 Zahedi, Z., & Costas, R. (2018). General discussion of data quality challenges in social media metrics: Extensive comparison of four major altmetric data aggregators. PLOS ONE, 13(5), e0197326. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0197326