Altmetric Blog

HuMetricsHSS research team awarded Mellon grant

Stacy Konkiel, 21st June 2017

CC-BY Nicky Agate / Medium

Great news for those interested in using altmetrics for evaluation for the humanities and social sciences: the HuMetricsHSS research team (which I’ve written about here before) just won a $300k grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to advance our understanding of values-based research metrics, including altmetrics!

We’re looking to reverse-engineer the process of using evaluation metrics. We’re going to start with the important stuff–goals, objectives, and values for individuals and universities–and work backwards from there to find indicators that can help academics understand if they’re achieving their aims.

Thanks to the Mellon Foundation’s support, we’re able to launch a pilot that will do several important things.

First, we’re going to run a series of workshops that will bring together humanities and social sciences (HSS) researchers and administrators alike to identify and define the values and practices that enrich scholarship. These values will go on to inform an initial evaluation framework, which individuals can use to understand their progress towards embodying those values in their research practices.

Next, we’re going to create a small set of use cases for applying the values-based framework. For example, we’ll explore questions like, “What does it mean to support the value of ‘openness’ through your teaching practices?”

As part of testing out our ideas, I’m particularly excited by our plan to create a prototype app that will scan syllabi and extract information like the age of texts, author demographics, links to open educational resources and open textbooks, and more.

I’m but one small part of the HuMetricsHSS research team, which includes Christopher Long, Michigan State University, Dean of College of Arts & Letters and Professor of Philosophy; Nicky Agate, Modern Language Association, Head of Digital Initiatives; Rebecca Kennison, K|N Consultants, Executive Director and Principal; Jason Rhody, Social Science Research Council, Program Director; and Simone Sacchi, LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries), EU Projects Manager. I’m thrilled to be continuing the work that we started at the 2016 TriangleSCI meeting–still the best and most productive conference I’ve ever attended.

We’ll be sharing updates on the HuMetricsHSS project from our website and on Twitter.

Dean Long put it best when he said this: ““When what is measured is what counts, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our metrics are shaped by our values and that our practices are not undermined by what can be counted.”

To read the full press release, visit the Michigan State University site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *