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Altmetrics for e rand l 2015

Examines the usefulness of altmetrics to the academic library for collection development and assessment. Discusses their advantages and disadvantages relative to more traditional metrics, and proposes some specific uses to which academic libraries may put altmetrics in support of the transitions now occurring in scholarly communication.

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Altmetrics for e rand l 2015

  1. 1. Using Altmetrics in Academic Libraries ER&L, February 25, 2015 Sarah W. Sutton @sarahwws
  2. 2. Altmetrics = Alternative metrics “Metrics that are alternative to the established citation counts and usage stats and/or metrics about alternative research outputs as opposed to journal articles” (NISO, 2014, p. 4)
  3. 3. Overview • Definitions • Evaluation • Discovery • Advantages & disadvantages
  4. 4. Evaluation • Collection development & management • Library publishing • Repositories • Research support • Return on investment & Institutional advancement
  5. 5. Collection development “If you’re a librarian and you have a limited serials budget, knowing which publications are read by your patrons can help you make better decisions about where you subscribe. Finding out what researchers are interested in and talking about with one another can help steer you into new areas for acquisition, letting you meet their needs before they even know they have them” (Crotty, 2014, p.145) “providing an altmetric overlay for journal usage that will complement the standard COUNTER statistics provided by publishers” (Galligan & Dyas-Corriea, 2013)
  6. 6. Collection development
  7. 7. Collection development
  8. 8. Library Publishing & Repositories • Altmetrics as a measure of OA content • Promote repository content • Persuade depositors • Persuade funders • Measure community engagement
  9. 9. Repository platforms providing altmetrics Metric Digital Commons DSPace Eprints Download counts x x x Search terms x Referral links x Metrics communicated by email x Includes a federated search & discovery x Number of visitors x Pageviews x Bounce rate x Partnership with x Citation metrics x* x** x** Social media mentions x* x** * via ** with additional plug-in Source: Konkiel & Sherer (2013)
  10. 10. Researcher support Libraries have a “"long-standing tradition of collaborating with academic departments and their research faculty to demonstrate the impact of their scholarship” (ACRL, 2014).
  11. 11. Researcher support • Who is interacting with a scholar’s research output? • What kinds of content are popular? • How is a scholar’s work being received by her peers? • Fully documenting publication in non- traditional venues & non-traditional forms of research out-put • Leverage publication for promotion & tenure
  12. 12. ROI & Institutional Advancement “Libraries are in a unique position to help facilitate an informed dialogue with the various constituencies that will intersect with altmetrics on campus” (Lapinski, Piwowar, & Priem, 2013).
  13. 13. ROI & Institutional Advancement • Showcase institutional scholarship to internal and external stakeholders • Demonstrate the impact of faculty research to trustees, state legislatures, etc. • Recruitment of faculty & students • Illustrate the potential impact of donations
  14. 14. Discovery “Altmetrics can play an important role as a discovery tool, in particularly for newly published content where citations are not yet available” (NISO, 2014, p. 7)
  15. 15. Discovery • Identifying scholarly content – In unconventional formats – Recently published • Identifying creators of scholarly content • Contextualized altmetrics
  16. 16. Limitations • Gaming • Popularity v. impact • Replication • Complete data • Data reliability • Critical mass • Inapplicable to traditional publishing formats • Imperfect proxies of quality • Lack of peer-review or its equivalent • “Fire-hose of data” (Crotty, 2014) • No “one-stop shop”…yet
  17. 17. FMI
  18. 18. References • ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee. (2014). Top trends in academic libraries: A review of the trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education. College & Research Libraries News, 75(6), 294–302. • Crotty, D. (2014a). Altmetrics: Finding meaningful needles in the data haystack. Serials Review, 40(3), 141–146. doi:10.1080/00987913.2014.947839 • Crotty, D. (2014b, May 1). Altmetrics: Mistaking the means for the end. Retrieved from • Galligan, F., & Dyas-Correia, S. (2013). Altmetrics: Rethinking the way we measure. Serials Review, 39(1), 56–61. doi:10.1016/j.serrev.2013.01.003 • Haustein, S., Peters, I., Sugimoto, C. R., Thelwall, M., & Larivière, V. (2013). Tweeting biomedicine: An analysis of tweets and citations in the biomedical literature. arXiv:1308.1838 [cs]. Retrieved from • Konkiel, S. (2013). Altmetrics a 21st-century solution to determining research quality. Online Searcher, 37(4), 11–15. • Konkiel, S., & Scherer, D. (2013). New opportunities for repositories in the age of altmetrics. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science & Technology, 39(4), 22–26. • Lapinski, S., Piwowar, H., & Priem, J. (2013). Riding the crest of the altmetrics wave. College & Research Libraries News, 74(6), 292–300. • NISO. (2014). NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) Project. Retrieved from • Sutton, S. (2013). A model for electronic resources value assessment. Serials Librarian, 64(1-4), 245–253. doi:10.1080/0361526X.2013.760417
  19. 19. Using Altmetrics in Academic Libraries Please feel free to contact me: Sarah W. Sutton @sarahwws