Word of the Day: Altmetrics

Everyday we are striving to wrap our minds around recording impact of the work that we do in Extension.  So, today, I wanted to throw a word at you that you may not have heard before, altmetrics.  Altmetrics has been defined many ways, but in my opinion the most intriguing definition was written by Jason Priem, a doc candidate, and some of his colleagues shortly after Jason had coined the term in 2010 within a tweet.

“Altmetrics expand our view of what impact looks like, but also of what’s making the impact.  This matters because expressions of scholarship are becoming more diverse.  Articles are increasingly joined by:

  • The sharing of “raw science” like datasets, code, and experiential designs
  • Semantic publishing or “nonpublication,” where the citeable unit is an argument or passage rather than entire article.
  • Widespread self-publishing via blogging, microblogging, and comments or annotations on existing work.

Because almetrics are themselves diverse, they’re great for measuring impact in this diverse scholarly ecosystem.  In fact, altmetrics will be essential to sift these new forms, since they’re outside the scope of traditional filters.  This diversity can also help in measuring the aggregate impact of the research enterprise itself.”

J. Priem, D. Taraborelli, P. Groth, C. Neylon (2010), Altmetrics: A manifesto, 26 October 2010. http://altmetrics.org/manifesto

Basically they were talking about the speed with which one can measure scholarly success through non-traditional channels (Google Scholar, Datacite, Twitter stats, blog followers) versus the traditional channels of article citations and journal impact factors.  Are traditional means of measuring scholarly achievement still important, you bet, but when was the last time you incorporated your Bibliometrics into your Activity Insight?

Just a thought!  :)



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