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Why Social Media & Altmetrics?
Scholarly work gets created, disseminated, and discussed in a variety of ways. While conversation about and engagement with your work may occur via journals, which can be measured by citation and journal metrics, your work will also be discussed via more ephemeral platforms, such as social media, etc. Altmetrics offer a way to measure mentions, tweets, downloads, comments, and use of scholarly work in non-academic discussion venues. These measures can complement traditional metrics to assist in demonstrating your scholarly impact, frequently offering qualitative and contextual uses of your work alongside quantitative measures.
Considerations for Using Altmetrics
Each measure that you use generates its data differently. Data may be harvested from other sources, or data may be part of your social media/metric community. As such, it's important to understand how each measure works. Below are some questions to consider before including these measures in an online portfolio or other demonstrations of your impact.
- What can altmetrics add to my submission?
- What is the culture or accepted standard regarding altmetrics in the discipline or institution that I am submitting to?
- Are there guidelines, templates, etc., that show best practices for my submission?
- How could altmetrics be misinterpreted? Can I minimize or mitigate this risk? (p. 160)
Roemer, R., & Borchardt, Rachel. (2015). Meaningful metrics : A 21st century librarian's guide to bibliometrics, altmetrics, and research impact. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries Press.
More on Social Sharing
There are too many social media, academic networking, and other sites to list, but each one--whether it is used to share presentations, saved citations, research data, or articles, etc.--should have measures attached to it. Those could be number of download, views, hits, shares, saves, etc. Use these measures with caution, carefully considering whether the measures are reliable, and whether they truly complement a positive demonstration of your impact.
Academic Networking Platforms
Mendeley is not only a citation manager, it is also a social network for scholars. Sign up and download the free desktop app which works on any platform. They also have plugins for MS Word and Open Office. Mendeley offers mobile apps so you can access your citations on the go.
"...a platform for academics to share research papers. The company's mission is to accelerate the world's research."
"Our mission is to connect researchers and make it easy for them to share and access scientific output, knowledge, and expertise. On ResearchGate they find what they need to advance their research."
Faculty of 1000
Faculty of 1000 offers several platforms enabling peer-to-peer science communication in biology and medicine.
Connected with your ORCID, track the buzz of your research, such as how many times you are cited on Wikipedia, how many times your software is reused, etc.
Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN)
Features academic networks for many disciplines in the social sciences. Includes a database with abstracts of scholarly working papers and forthcoming papers. Also includes a paper collection of full-text documents.
Provides open access to e-prints in physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, and statistics.
Preprint server for articles in biology, sponsored by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories
Provides access to preprint articles in the social sciences.
RePEc (Research Papers in Economics)
Digital repository of economic journal articles, working papers, and software components.
Repository for academic articles, data, and other scholarly outputs from any discipline.
MLA Commons CORE
"... a library-quality repository for sharing, discovering, retrieving, and archiving digital work. CORE provides MLA Commons members with a permanent, open access storage facility for their scholarly output, facilitating maximum discoverability and encouraging peer feedback."