Altmetrics: New measurements for scholarly output

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Traditional scholarly output has been measured over time by counting research publications.  Publications are also tracked by counting citations to them.  Finally, citation relationships are measured through journal impact factor.  While this explanation is simplified, scholarly output measurements are often used in tenure, grant, and employment applications and to indicate how a specific researcher has contributed to scholarship over time.  Traditional metrics are lagging indicators and non-traditional publications are often not represented.

With the explosion of social networks, online communities, and web-native publishing, new methods to measure scholarship are being developed.  The Altmetrics movement is envisioned to monitor and capture how an individual article is disseminated through the worldwide scholarly community.  By capturing links and bookmarks, from tools such as Mendeley or Twitter, and including more than just articles (data-sets, code, designs, etc.), the measurements can be more inclusive.  Altmetrics aims to measure more than just the articles; the measurement would include the conversation around an article, the views, the comments, tweets, and links.

This new movement further demonstrates that an evolvement of the paper-native era into a web-native era is occurring and that current measurement standards need to be examined.

Try it out:

For more information:

Katie Prentice, Head of Education and Information Services
Chris Gaspard, Head of Access Services and Interlibrary Loan

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