Our Altmetric Ambassador of the month for November is Elisabeth Vogler, a PHD student and lecturer at the German Institute for International Educational Research. Elisabeth has a Masters degree in library and information science, and is planning to write her PHD thesis on altmetrics. She is currently working on a project entitled “Altmetrics for Education Science in Germany”, the objective of which is to study altmetrics data for German educational research outputs, and identify interesting stories that can be told using this data. She was recently invited to present on altmetrics to a large audience of librarians at the Institutes of the Fraunhofer Society. These credentials suggest that Elisabeth is something of an authority on altmetrics in the German research community! Stacy Konkiel and I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to Elisabeth at the 2:AM conference in Amsterdam last month.
Elisabeth is currently teaching a 13-week optional module for Masters students at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt. She is teaching this module alongside Prof. Dr. Marc Rittberger, who is Director at the Information Center for Education at DIPF. The module is called “Alternative Metrics in Web 2.0”, and covers a range of topics under an overarching theme of bibliometrics and altmetrics. They have taught five lectures on the course so far, and have covered some introductory issues about the nature of science communication in the digital age. They have also talked about more specific topics such as the sources tracked by altmetrics providers, and the potential use cases for the data. The later lectures on the course will be discussion-based classes where the students will present their own opinions on the usefulness of altmetrics tools, and consider how the applications made possible by “the web 2.0” have changed research dissemination.
I asked Elisabeth what she finds useful about altmetrics data, and about why it is her preferred research topic. She said that she likes the immediacy of the data, and the fact that you can click through to the mentions and see who has been sharing your research.
“Now that we can track the discussion immediately via online mentions, a person can reconstruct the thoughts of others and find new questions, ideas, points of criticism, new fellows to talk to or maybe someone who might be interested in supporting research in that area. I love that Altmetrics make a dialogue between a scientist and his reader possible, and not only to other scientists but also readers that might not be experts but just have an interest in something.”
Like fellow ambassadors of the month Nader Ale Ibrahim and Colleen Willis, Elisabeth is clearly someone with a genuine interest in altmetrics, who wants to become an expert on the subject and sees educating fellow researchers as being a crucial part of that process. She really embodies the aims of the Ambassador program, and has taken considerate steps to make the data accessible and understandable for others at her institution. We’re very pleased to have attracted people like Elisabeth with the Ambassadors scheme, and we can’t wait to hear the outcome of her discussions with her students at the end of the course!
*The Altmetric Ambassadors program is currently not accepting new applicants, but stay tuned for further updates in the new year! You can also follow #altambs on Twitter. Thanks for reading!