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As useful as the peer review process still is, it does not account for the new and varied ways in which research is being shared. How do blog posts about an article, for instance, reflect its impact? What does a scholar’s Twitter following measure? These are the types of questions addressed through altmetrics.
What are altmetrics? One site (“Altmetrics,” n.d., ¶ 1 ) defines them as “the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social web for analyzing and informing scholarship.” Priem, Taraborelli, Groth, and Neylon (2010) provide a more thorough discussion of the concept in the Altmetrics Manifesto.
The American Library Association’s Library Instruction Round Table has addressed the concept (“Tech talk,” 2014). In the library literature we also have an article by Wilson (2013).
Scholarship doesn’t take place in a vacuum. Altmetrics acknowledge this fact.
Altmetrics: About. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://altmetrics.org/about/
Priem, J., Taraborelli, D., Groth, P. , & Neylon, C. (2010). Altmetrics: A manifesto. Retrieved from http://altmetrics.org/manifesto
Tech talk: Altmetrics. (2014, June). LIRT News, 36(4), 13-22. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/lirt/lirt-news-archives
Wilson, V. (2013). Research methods: Altmetrics. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 8(1), 126-128. Retrieved from http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP