August’s Ambassador of the Month is Dr. Achala Munigal!
Achala is an assistant professor of LIS and assistant librarian working within a research unit at Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. She’s been a tireless advocate for altmetrics on her campus, organizing researcher workshops, promoting altmetrics on social media, and recruiting altmetrics-related content for an upcoming book she’s editing, Handbook of Research on Scholarly Communication and the Publish or Perish Pressures of Academia.
We recently emailed with Achala to learn more about her work and to find out her advice for librarians interested in promoting altmetrics–read on!
Tell me about your current work at Osmania University. What does a typical day involve for you?
I am working in a Research and Training Unit for Navigational Electronics (NERTU) in Osmania University, Hyderabad in Telangana State of India. My work is mostly routine, supporting the scientists and research scholars working there and those visiting our unit. I am currently automating my library, too.
How do you use altmetrics in your current job?
Right now I have only conducted one formal session to make fellow professionals aware of altmetrics. But I have many informal one-to-one sessions with many students and faculty who approach me from the various colleges of our university. I am also called by various UGC HRDC to give lectures on various topics. I integrate traditional metrics, altmetrics, viziometrics, etc into the lecture. (Lecture details are available at www.facebook.com/Dr.Achala.Munigal.) I intend to conduct many more such events and hands-on workshops on altmetrics.
Where did you first learn of altmetrics?
While surfing the net in preparation of a lecture on the Journal Impact Factor, I came across altmetrics. Since I am also a avid user of social media tools, I got interested.
You recently hosted a one-day workshop on altmetrics at Osmania University. Tell me more about that.
The Department of Library and Information Science (DLISc) and Research and Training Unit for Navigational Electronics (NERTU) Library, Osmania University (OU), jointly organized a one-day workshop on altmetrics on 20 April 2016 at Computer Center DLISc, OU. The Chief Guest was Prof. Naidu Ashok, Principal, University College of Arts and Social Sciences (UCA&SS), OU and the Guest of Honor to the program was Prof. P Laxminarayana, Director, Research and Training Unit for Navigational Electronics (NERTU), OU. Prof. V Vishwa Mohan HoD, DLISC, OU was Director of Program and Dr Achala Munigal, Asst. Prof. (LIS)/Asst. Librarian, NERTU, OU was Convener and Altmetric Ambassador. Resource Person(s) were Dr K Bharati Asst. Prof. (LIS) DLISc OU; Dr J Vivek Vardhan Asst. Prof. (LIS), DLISc OU; and Dr Achala Munigal, Asst. Prof. (LIS)/Asst. Librarian, NERTU, OU who spoke about traditional impact metrics; various altmetrics tools available; and Altmetric as a company providing altmetrics tool respectively. There was a hands-on session for participants after the lectures. It was well received.
What advice do you have for other librarians interested in advocating for altmetrics at their institutions?
Librarians are connected with both faculty and students. For that reason, librarians are the right agents to advocate for the implementation of altmetrics tools and technologies at their institutions. To remain relevant in times of the Internet and Google, a library professional needs to be updated and learn the latest information and communication technologies and then implement them.
Achala is one of more than two hundred “ambassadors” for Altmetric and altmetrics worldwide, each of whom volunteer their time to educate others on all the benefits of altmetrics. To learn more about the Altmetric Ambassadors program, visit our website or follow the #altambs hashtag on Twitter.