RESEARCH NEWS from Swansea University Library

Exploring altmetrics

The colourful Altmetric.com donut

We are taking part in two sessions this week on the topic of altmetrics, “the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing, and informing scholarship”. See the altmetrics manifesto for the original explanation and justification; the Wikipedia article has further background. Reasons why altmetrics are worthy of a researcher’s attention and time:

Swansea University had three papers in the Altmetrics Top 100 Articles for 2015 (see the news story “Swansea University scores hat trick in top 100 articles “).

Where to view altmetrics

Altmetric.com is the major supplier of altmetric data with their distinctive colourful bagel graphic which is found embedded in many other sites too. This web page gives an overview of what the bagel is and what it’s counting.

No altmetrics available? This FAQ related to the Altmetric donut gives some reasons why this may be so: they didn’t start collecting activity until 2011, not all journals are supported and not all articles have a recognizable identifier (or DOI).

Books and book chapters are also not currently well supported for altmetrics although there are developments in this area such as the Springer “Bookmetrix” portal.

Can your boost your own altmetrics?

Altmetrics register online activity. No researcher would want to be accused of “gaming” their metrics yet all researchers are encouraged to maximize their impact and to promote their research themselves as much as possible.

Researchers with an existing active online network and understanding of the world of social media will inevitably be at an advantage here. However there are also others who may be on social media already who can help: the publisher, the institution and/or research office, collaborators or community / commercial partnerships.

There is much on the web about maximizing research impact using social media. Here are some examples, including several from the LSE Impact blog which publishes frequently and reliably on this topic:

As mentioned above, using altmetrics to check out who has been talking about similar papers and including them in your network can be a useful strategy.

 

Comments and useful resources for exploring altmetrics are welcome!