Beth Bernhardt (slides)
Iain Hrynaszkiewicz (slides)
How do you measure the impact of research? Do you know Impact Factor from ImpactStory; or F1000Prime score from Altmetric score? Understanding the how research impact is measured is very important for funders, institutions and individuals. Traditional metrics have focused on citations of papers and journals but there is growing realisation – highlighted in 2013 by the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) – that the Impact Factor is inappropriate for assessing individual papers, institutions, and individual researchers. The internet has given us a wealth of new data on how much published papers (and other products of research) are read, reused and revered by the authors’ peers. Alternative (“alt”) metrics can measure how many times a paper is downloaded, tweeted, or shared on social media; how many bloggers have written about it; how many readers a paper has on social reference managers such as Mendeley. These interactions are possible to track, aggregate and measure and, to some extent, be understood. And F1000Prime aims to provide context to altmetrics with human-readable comments along with numerical article scores.
Altmetrics tools can be used by librarians to assess the impact of institutions’ research and to give a better indication, than the Impact Factor alone, of which journals are publishing the best research. With the rise of remote digital access to libraries, librarians should embrace altmetrics as an educational service to researchers who may now rarely need to visit the library in person, as well as for research assessment. This session will also discuss limitations and benefits of Impact Factors and alternative metrics and how some of the most important research impacts are currently immeasurable. Using a case study from a librarian "in the trenches," the value of altmetrics tools for universities and funding agencies will also be considered.