Why altmetrics, and why come to 3:AM?

Scholarly communication has broken the barriers of standard publishing. Conversations on the latest trends in research can be found on Twitter, Mendeley, Facebook etc. and the results of research can be tracked down in policy documents or in the development of software code.

Now, more than ever, science has found its way into the mainstream and not being part of the conversation can have negative effects. Traditional citation metrics cannot pick up trends as citations take time to build up and this is where altmetrics help build the whole picture.

Altmetrics pick up mentions from policy documents, social media, news outlets, software repositories and everything in between in order to create a full picture of science communication and current trends in research but more importantly it gives researchers a tool to efficiently showcase their research results and measure immediate impact.

What to know more about altmetrics? Altmetric.com has a useful introduction here

What you can do with altmetrics:

  • See who talks about your research

  • See where your research is mentioned

  • See how your research is received by the international community. Knowing the feedback can help build a stronger case around your findings.

  • Reach out to like-minded researchers. Collaboration is key and being able to find and reach out to peers that are doing research in the same or connected fields can help shorten the time needed to get results.

  • Spot trends, to stay ahead

  • Showcase the impact of your research before citations appear

  • Get funding. Proving that your research has changed policies and/ or has received attention internationally immediately after being published is a valuable piece of information that can prove why your research is worth funding.

  • Promote the research authors publish in your journals. Publishers have a very important role, and that is to promote the research they are publishing. Use altmetrics to find the most efficient way to communicate findings and raise awareness.

  • Build a brand. Citations take time to appear but social media gives the possibility to young researchers to build a voice at a global level.

  • Make people love science. Talking about scientific findings on social websites can influence children to take up science the same way Star Trek has influenced generations into engineering and astrophysics.

This conference aims to debate and present best practices and successful examples on how to use altmetrics to create and grow the visibility of your research or journal combined with the latest trends in assessing research impact.

Cristina Huidiu

Leave a Reply