Thursday, November 15, 2012

Altmetrics — Replacing the Impact Factor Is Not the Only Point

Image from the Wikimedia Commons.
These days, many traditional aspects of scholarly communication are being questioned by researchers and scholars. As data becomes more and more central to publishing, traditional methods of metric collection and analysis are proving insufficient. Traditional metrics tend to be focused on the journal level. The Web of Science Impact Factor, one of the most widely used metrics in scholarly publishing, for example, measures quality at the journal level by measuring the number of citations to it in other journal articles. This type of  traditional metric is being increasingly criticized for issues such as their granularity (i.e., measuring at the publication level, not the item level), or their bias toward citation, and because it does not reflect more applied, practical, or public use.

One new model emerging that attempts to find new ways of showcasing impact is that of Alternative Metrics. Alternative Metrics take many forms but often focus on efforts to move beyond proprietary bibliometrics and traditional forms of peer referencing in assessing the quality and scholarly impact of published work.

A recent post in the Scholarly Kitchen blog is worth a read. Altmetrics — Replacing the Impact Factor Is Not the Only Point
Posted by Todd A Carpenter, Director at NISO on Nov 14, 2012  discusses the pros and cons of the word "alt"  in the world of journal and article metrics.

“There are other important value metrics beyond the strength of a journal. This might come as a shock to some STEM publishers, who have flourished or floundered based on the performance of impact factor rankings published each June …” (Read on)

- If you would like to discuss the value of Altmetrics in your discipline please contact Jane Burpee, Research Enterprise and Scholarly Communication Team, Library (

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