On January 5th, Kelli Marshall published an article in the The Chronicle of Higher Education entitled “How to Curate Your Digital Identity as an Academic”, in which she discussed the importance of having an online presence. Marshal argues “as an academic or would-be academic, you need to take control of your public persona and then take steps to build and maintain it”. She also points out; “if you do not have a clear online presence, you are allowing Google, Yahoo and Bing to create your identity for you”.
Kelli talks about the need for academics to build and maintain websites about themselves that are separate from their institutional faculty pages, in order to increase search engine optimization and ensure they are the top hit on a list of Google results, not their doppelganger. She argues that once you have built a presence, you can build a network and “piggyback off sites whose web pages rank high in Google”.
So, how does this relate to Altmetric? We talk to a lot of researchers about how altmetrics can help them achieve their goals. One of the frequently raised issues is “lack of time”. A typical researcher at a university divides their time between teaching, writing papers, peer review, site or laboratory-based research, grant applications and committee duties. Because their existing workload is so high, many of them feel that the increasing requirement to “show evidence of research engagement” is simply another plate to spin, another chore to add to an already intimidating to-do list.
We recently talked to Terrie Moffitt, a researcher at Duke University, who said that “this kind of housekeeping can lessen the amount of time that can be allocated for genuine research”, and that “it is therefore both advantageous and convenient if researchers can outsource this kind of data curation”.
To elaborate further on Terrie’s points, I’ll be posting regularly to our blog, Facebook and Google+ pages with tips and ideas for how researchers can enhance their workflows with the use of altmetrics and Altmetric. We’ll feature a number of real-life case studies and conduct interviews with researchers who have already begun to use these tools.
From embedding badges on departmental websites to using Altmetric for teaching and supervision, we’ll be aiming to clearly demonstrate the uses of altmetrics data to faculty across an institution.