CFA Institute

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“Traditional impact factors and metrics are not the be-all and end-all – there are other ways to capture the impacts that we are having.”

matt hirst, director and publisher, content engagement

About the organisation

With locations in North America, Europe, and Asia, it is a global organisation, serving over 135,000 members and 147 member societies around the world. Best known for the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation they administer and manage, CFA Institute also provides thought leadership and promotes high ethical standards in investment management.

CFA Institute publishes a wide range of content, the cornerstone of which is the Financial Analysts Journal®. Launched in 1945 and now available online, the journal is peer-reviewed and has featured articles from 11 Nobel laureates and other industry luminaries. In addition to the journal, CFA Institute also publishes magazines, books, blogs, and multimedia materials.

We spoke to Kara Hite, Director of Content Publishing Solutions, and Matt Hirst, Director and Publisher, Content Engagement, to learn about their aims and interest in altmetrics.

The scenario

Matt works closely with internal stakeholders, including the publications editorial team, to define strategy and develop their publishing portfolio. Together they identified a core challenge they were facing with the Financial Analysts Journal: making the content they published visible enough to their desired audience.

They wanted, therefore, to build a strategy to help them raise the profile of the Financial Analysts Journal, measure the effects of working more closely with the CFA Institute media relations team, and to demonstrate the value of their publishing program to members.

“Altmetric has different benefits for different audiences.”

matt hirst, director and publisher, content engagement

Adopting altmetrics

Matt and Kara worked together with the Altmetric team to embed badges in the article pages of the journal. This easy integration enabled them to quickly see and report back to their colleagues how much attention their articles were currently receiving.

In an effort to raise the amount of coverage their articles were receiving, Matt and the editors worked with Kara’s team to set up a more optimal and regular publishing schedule.

This meant that the media team could start pitching things to the press and offering articles under embargo — something that had not been done with this journal before.

Early impressions

Matt reports that Altmetric offers a great way to see the engagement from the press and on social media. He notes that a lot of their content has fairly low Altmetric scores at the moment, but that they hope to see this expand over time. This, he hopes, will include gathering richer data and identifying “high value insights” — for example, identifying influential bloggers or reporters who will act as amplifiers for their content.

So far they have taken the soft launch approach — the badges have been added but they have not done much to promote it to researchers — this activity is planned for 2017, when it will be announced as part of a larger redevelopment project.

That said, Matt sees being able to capture attention systematically with Altmetric and expose it on the site as a great benefit, and one that they think will also entice potential authors to submit in the future.

“If we can generate more coverage, it makes the value of the journal clear to everyone – including our members and charterholders.”

matt hirst, director and publisher, content engagement

Where next?

Once officially launched next year, Matt aims to gather further feedback from the editors and authors on the altmetrics they are providing.

He hopes that early efforts to raise the visibility that are currently underway will be reflected in a greater amount of attention for them to explore, and that they will make use of this in a myriad of different ways.

There is currently a big focus internally, Matt says, to set quantifiable goals for different aspects and activities of the organisation — measuring achievement against those defined goals.

To this end, they are in the process of building KPI dashboards for different products, and data from Altmetric will be something that is part of this for
the journal. The dashboards will provide a quarterly snapshot that will be shared within the organisation to give them an idea of how the journal is progressing against set goals.

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