The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) recently announced a community-based, two-year project to develop standards and recommended practices for altmetrics. Altmetrics uses web traffic, social media, reference managers, and other online tools to provide a broader picture of an author’s scholarly impact than traditional, journal-level metrics provide. Not limited to research articles, altmetrics tracks the sharing and discussions of datasets, computer code, blog posts, slide decks, and other online modes of scholarly communication. Examples of altmetrics include Impact Story and Altmetric for Scopus. Altmetrics has drawn controversy, leaving skeptics concerned about its potential for abuse, such as artificially gaming page views, downloads, and social media sharing. In the announcement of this project, Todd Carpenter, NISO’s Executive Director, states: “The creation of altmetrics standards and best practices will facilitate the community trust in altmetrics, which will be a requirement for any broad-based acceptance, and will ensure that these altmetrics can be accurately compared and exchanged across publishers and platforms.” The creation and publication of altmetrics standards will take place over the next two years. Read the announcement.
Judy Luther’s recent post on Scholarly Kitchen highlights developments in Altmetrics, the movement to extend the measurement of the impact of scholarly research beyond the traditional metric of journal impact. Among other efforts, she mentions the article-level metrics (ALM) in development at PLoS.
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (link below) describes efforts to measure the impact of research beyond traditional citation analysis. In addition to measuring the impact of scholarly publications (who cites whom), altmetrics tries to tap into the buzz of scholarly conversation on social media sites such as Twitter and reference-sharing communities such as Mendeley and Zotero. The full article is available here: