Tackling the Challenges of Altmetrics

This post was written by Amy Rees, Customer Support Specialist at Altmetric.

The third afternoon panel at 4:AM, Tackling the Challenges of Altmetrics, was chaired by Stacy Konkiel (Altmetric) and was focused on the challenges we see in engaging altmetrics and altmetrics research.

To start, Clément Gévaudan from the Global Development Network (GDN) spoke about research diffusion strategies and practices in developing countries. GDN has started the “Doing Research” pilot program which is a mixed method approach to assessing research systems. They have been using altmetrics can be one of the indicators that can be used to evaluate the efficacy of the information diffusion in the developing world.

Andy Herzog (University of Texas at Arlington) discussed the manual and interactive metric consultation service for faculty that he helped develop and run. Andy and his colleagues would have brief interviews with faculty and get a sense of the metrics that were valuable to them. A customisable report would then be made based on their requirements. These conversations allowed Andy to talk about metrics without talking about metrics. The pilot had very positive responses from faculty and led to data being used in their promotion and tenure dossiers.

Johannes Sorz (University of Vienna) then spoke about the survey undertaken to research faculty at the University of Vienna. The survey covered a range of topics about scholarly life, but also asked specific questions related to web usage and scholarly communications. The results showed that there was interest, but varied by career stage and field. The bias towards early career researchers was apparent in valuing and using online sharing, whereas more senior researchers are more likely to use online academic profiles.

Last up, Jaigris Hodson (Royal Roads University) began with a discussion about the dangers of being a female researcher online. Jaigris’ study looks to research harassment of female academics, the way that manifests, and the particularities of this gendered harassment. With the normalisation of online scholarly communications, many researchers feel pressured to be online. Altmetrics emphasize online contributions, but as a community we need to think about how perilous the online sphere can be for women and members of marginalised communities.