Altmetrics in Social Sciences and Humanities: Possibilities, Challenges, and Experiences

LAHIKAINEN, Johanna (2016) Altmetrics in Social Sciences and Humanities: Possibilities, Challenges, and Experiences. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 136 - Social Science Libraries with Asia and Oceania.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1356
[img]
Preview
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Altmetrics in Social Sciences and Humanities: Possibilities, Challenges, and Experiences

This paper discusses altmetrics and describes the results of Helsinki University Library’s altmetrics pilot using the PlumX software by EBSCO. The term ‘altmetrics’ comes from ‘alternative metrics’ and it has been offered as an alternative to or rather extending traditional bibliometrics. Scholars and other representatives in the sciences worldwide have found traditional bibliometrics and research assessment increasingly problematic. Journal impact factors, commonly used in research evaluation, do not tell us anything about the quality of a single article in a journal, only of the impact and reputation of the journal in question. Moreover, bibliometric tools are not always used in a transparent nor research field appropriate way, as they should. Altmetrics focuses on the publication itself, not the journal or publisher. Citations take time to build, but altmetrics shows current discussion and societal and economic engagement. It tells us how the publication is discussed and liked in social media and other online services, for instance blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Mendeley, etc. In Helsinki University Library’s altmetrics pilot with PlumX (EBSCO) in 2015, we found that altmetrics tools often work better in fields such as medicine and natural sciences. Because many subjects important to social sciences and humanities are local and publications are written in local languages, not in English, the tools fail to serve social sciences and humanities as well as medicine and natural sciences. Academic libraries should take part in developing and using altmetrics tools in collaboration with other libraries and researchers. As always, it is important that research field differences must be taken into account.

FOR IFLA HQ (login required)

Edit item Edit item
.