WHAT ARE ALTMETRICS? What do they measure? How do they compare to traditional article level metrics? Do they measure an article or journals' scholarly impact?
This short video gives a quick overview of these terms as they relate to scholarly publishing.
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Hi there, I am John Bond from Riverwinds Consulting and this is Publishing Defined.
Today I am to going to give an overview of Altmetrics.
Altmetrics is a non-traditional method of assessing an article in a scholarly publication for its impact.
Traditionally, a journal was measured by such items as its Impact Factor, peer review, citation counts. In 2010 a movement started to look at alternative metrics, altmetrics, to augment the existing measures for an article. Altmetrics are non-traditional, article-level metrics that can include journal comments, blog mentions, Wikipedia mentions, Tweets, Facebook posts, or other events. The items can be very broad from saved, to cited, to recommended, to mentions, and more. Altmetrics can measure articles, but also videos, individuals, journals, and a host of other items.
Since 2010, altmetrics have grown and are now embraced by most major publishers and all journals. With over 8,000 journals using altmetrics, they are quickly becoming an expected metric for a publication. They supplement Impact Factor, pageviews, peer review, and the like in determining how articles are measured.
A publisher may provide these metrics themselves or more likely they more work with a third party such as Altmetric.com (no S), Plum Analytics, Impactstory, Kudos, or others who have been serving this space for some time. These services cover articles, but also authors, journals, publishers, and institutions, in one form or another. Check these companies out for more details about their services.
A publisher may display a graphic, badge, icon or donut that leads a reader to a display showing the various categories of events such as Tweets or the like with the relevant number that occurred.
The publisher may also present a list of the Top 10 or 100 articles using the various metrics or categories. The use of these type lists, or altmetrics itself, is helping to engage readers and drive article downloads.
While altmetrics are widely used, several concerns or questions remain in scholarly publishing.
The gaming of altmetrics is the first concern. With little effort, an article or paper can show a big gain that may not correlate to its value in the field. Some of the events measured, such as Likes or Tweets, can be purchased or programed, exacerbating the issue.
Also, how do you weight events such as Tweets, and Facebook posts, or Wikipedia mentions against each other? Is one worth more than another? Who assigns the value?
Finally, does altmetrics help define the impact of the research? Does an article with high altmetrics mean greater value to the profession or perhaps does it just mean it is trendy topic or controversial?
Altmetrics will continue to grow and become a given for any publisher or researcher.
Further research as to altmetrics effectiveness are necessary, along with some standardization of terms and value. The term altmetrics is likely to change, perhaps to social media metrics or the like.
Altmetrics will also need to continue to integrate with other parts of scholarly publishing such as PubMed, CrossRef or Orcid ID. More on this last one later.
That’s it. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel or see the link below for my playlist of more videos on altmetrics.
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