2:AM Altmetrics and open science
11:20 – 12:05: Altmetrics and open science
Chair: Mike Taylor, Elsevier Labs
William Gunn, Mendeley – Understanding reader intent: Who are the readers of a papers on Mendeley and why do they add what they add to their libraries?
With an open catalog of millions of papers and applications used by millions of researchers to organize, share, and discover research, Mendeley is one of the most comprehensive sources of altmetrics available. However, there’s a lot that still isn’t known about the underlying population from which the metrics are derived, and the various behaviors that they engage in as they build their Mendeley library. We are collecting the largest sample of Mendeley reader behavior and will make the survey data available to the altmetrics community. In this talk, we will describe the data collection, as well as present some of the highlights of the data so far.
David Walters, Brunel University – Institutional services and altmetrics as drivers for a cultural transition to open scholarship
The causal effect to the impact of scholarly outputs disseminated under an open model may be mirrored in the statistical analysis provided by Altmetrics. In the wake of technological developments and funder expectations, we at Brunel University London have a longstanding commitment for open access to our research outputs, going back over ten years. A single campus, community focused institution, our services and systems been tailored to support our scholars and effect cultural change during the transition toward open scholarship.
I will talk about how the evolution of our systems deployment has led to a support network that facilitates University publishing for new, open forms of scholarly output and that enables the monitoring of traditional published outputs through green, gold or paywall distribution models. Our publishing systems include an Institutional Repository (IR) and FigShare Data Repository. Our Current Research Information System (CRIS) provides the mechanism to monitor publication trends across our entire portfolio.
With the monitoring of open academic activity fully supported by the CRIS along with partner services Cottage Labs, DOAJ, Sherpa and Core, I will outline how we developed a small centralised service around these tools tailored to foster engagement and to transform dissemination practice across our community.
Alongside the proliferation of social tools for researchers has been the growth of alternative metrics. From our services at ground level we are well positioned to comment on the divide that exists between those researchers who actively use their social media networks to promote the discovery of their output and those who don’t.
I will discuss our ‘Altmetric for Institutions’ setup, which monitors the records held in our CRIS. I will demonstrate how this information is shared with authors, research managers and marketing to benefit different areas of institution, but in particular how this provides a powerful visual prompt to users of our service who may be unsure about the academic return of the open movements in real terms.
We are beginning to see how the data we work with every day could be used to extend the discovery of our academics work and to promote the institutions reputation in this space. We curate a huge range of high quality metadata within our CRIS; keywords, subjects and themes to name but a few. We want to see better ways of using this data to select and promote our publications across the social sphere – ideally making use of and developing our existing local networks and the networks of our researchers, and I will speak to our progress in this area so far.
I will conclude by arguing that the clear, mutualistic relationship between the altmetrics and open science movements necessitates effective co-operation with local university services to bring about a smooth and swift transition for authors to the open scholarly model.
Kim Holmberg, University of Turku, Finland – Measuring the societal impact of open science
Altmetrics, which refers to both the research field and the altmetric events being investigated, has the potential to provide a more nuanced understanding of where and how research has had an impact. For instance, while citations only reflect scientific impact, tweets, blog citations, Facebook likes, and so on may be able to reflect other types of impact such as societal impact on various audiences. Altmetrics is also closely connected to the Open Science movement, as both have emerged from the transition of scholarly communication to the web. In addition, while the open science movement still lacks incentives for individual researchers to adopt some of the ideologies of the movement, which in turn hinders the rapid assimilation of it, altmetrics provides novel indicators for attention, visibility, and impact that could stimulate the interest of researchers. As researchers see how their work is gaining attention online, it might motivate them to share more of their work openly.
Our study will present preliminary results from a new research project (financed by the Ministry of Education in Finland) that works at the intersection of altmetrics and open science. The project investigates the connection between altmetrics and open science, maps the current state of research in Finland using altmetric research methods and data, and develops new indicators to measure societal impact and new methods to study these phenomena.
Our preliminary results on the connection between altmetrics and open access publications show a significant difference between altmetric indicators based on number of mentions of open access publications in their content. Open access articles receive more attention on Facebook and (especially) on Twitter compared to articles that are behind paywalls. The opposite appears to be the case for Mendeley readers and (to some extent) for Wikipedia posts, as open access articles are not used as much as those that are behind paywalls in these contexts. The preliminary results are based on an analysis of how almost 4 million altmetric events are spread between articles in open access journals (as listed by DOAJ) and other journals.
The results support the assumption that Twitter especially might be able to reflect the attention of a wider public, while Mendeley is used mainly by researchers. In addition, the preliminary results also suggest that a great deal of the Wikipedia articles are in fact written by researchers with paid access to research articles, providing additional evidence of the high quality of Wikipedia articles.