Altmetrics: What, Why and Where?
Yesterday, 7 essays about altmetrics were published as part of a special section in the new April/May 2013 issue of the Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology (PDF version). This special section, entitled “Altmetrics: What, Why and Where?” was guest edited by Heather Piwowar of ImpactStory, and features comprehensive discussions of altmetrics from many unique perspectives.
Heather’s introduction set the stage for the issue, providing useful background information about the growing field of altmetrics. The articles in the special section explored various issues that are of particular interest to academics (e.g., altmetrics in CVs, developing countries, use of alternative metrics), institutions (e.g., institutional repositories and altmetrics), and publishers (e.g., altmetrics and open-access publishing, PLOS article-level metrics), and toolmakers.
Librarians and repository managers who are curious about altmetrics should definitely read the essay by Stacy Konkiel and Dave Scherer on adding value to institutional repositories using altmetrics (PDF version). Since the use of Altmetric’s badges and API is free for libraries and institutional repositories, I’d recommend taking another look at Euan’s blog post on the subject if you’re looking to get altmetrics up and running for your institution.
New essay from Altmetric, a toolmaker’s perspective
Altmetric contributed an essay to the Bulletin as well, speaking from a technological perspective. In our essay “Five Challenges in Altmetrics: A Toolmaker’s Perspective” (view PDF version), Euan and I discussed some key issues that face creators of tools for measuring and delivering altmetrics. Drawing from our experiences at Altmetric, our essay explored 5 main questions:
- What can and should we measure?
- What sources of data should be used?
- How can we identify what research outputs are being discussed?
- How do we disambiguate the different articles, datasets, and other items?
- How do we interpret the data?
We’d like to extend our thanks to Heather for inviting us to contribute our thoughts. Also, congratulations to her for putting together such an excellent special section on altmetrics!