If an article is published in an influential peer-reviewed journal, does it have an impact? Is it reaching people? Is it making a difference? Did all that work actually contribute to the greater knowledge base of its field? To the world? Scholarly metrics are used to measure the influence of articles, but can they really encompass its true impact on the world? That is where altmetrics comes into play. Instead of focusing exclusively on journal rankings, article citations, and other metrics exclusive to academia, altmetrics looks at a wider and more open range of places a particular article can end up, because even though an article might not be getting cited, it may still be read, used, shared, discussed. It can still matter. Information can live in reference managers like Zotero and Mendeley, be shared via twitter, or spread like wildfire on scholarly blogs. All of these areas and more can reach far beyond the ivory tower of academia.
Online Altmetric Resources:
Scholarly Metrics Libguide: Altmetrics : Provides several lists of resources and tools related to altmetrics
The Altmetric Explorer: a web browser tool that helps you access the altmetric impact of journal articles you pull up.
LISTA: Indexes numerous core information science journals, books, research reports, and proceedings.
LISA: An international abstracting and indexing tool designed for library and information professionals.
INSPEC: Provides access to journals and conference proceedings in the fields of physics, electrical engineering, computers, and information technology.
Altmetrics is a fascinating new field that is rapidly evolving, and as such may be difficult to navigate on your own. If you need any help, email the reference desk at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at (518) 442-3691, or just come in and ask us in person!
Blog post created by Alex Hoag
Image source: digital-science.com