Allegation of scientific misconduct increases Twitter attention

Authors : Lutz Bornmann, Robin Haunschild

The web-based microblogging system Twitter is a very popular altmetrics source for measuring the broader impact of science. In this case study, we demonstrate how problematic the use of Twitter data for research evaluation can be, even though the aspiration of measurement is degraded from impact to attention measurement.

We collected the Twitter data for the paper published by Yamamizu et al. (2017). An investigative committee found that the main figures in the paper are fraudulent.


The counting house: measuring those who count. Presence of Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Informetrics, Webometrics and Altmetrics in the Google Scholar Citations, ResearcherID, ResearchGate, Mendeley & Twitter

Authors : Alberto Martin-Martin, Enrique Orduna-Malea, Juan M. Ayllon, Emilio Delgado Lopez-Cozar

Following in the footsteps of the model of scientific communication, which has recently gone through a metamorphosis (from the Gutenberg galaxy to the Web galaxy), a change in the model and methods of scientific evaluation is also taking place.

A set of new scientific tools are now providing a variety of indicators which measure all actions and interactions among scientists in the digital space, making new aspects of scientific communication emerge.

In this work we present a method for capturing the structure of an entire scientific community (the Bibliometrics, Scientometrics, Informetrics, Webometrics, and Altmetrics community) and the main agents that are part of it (scientists, documents, and sources) through the lens of Google Scholar Citations.

Additionally, we compare these author portraits to the ones offered by other profile or social platforms currently used by academics (ResearcherID, ResearchGate, Mendeley, and Twitter), in order to test their degree of use, completeness, reliability, and the validity of the information they provide.

A sample of 814 authors (researchers in Bibliometrics with a public profile created in Google Scholar Citations was subsequently searched in the other platforms, collecting the main indicators computed by each of them.

The data collection was carried out on September, 2015. The Spearman correlation was applied to these indicators (a total of 31) , and a Principal Component Analysis was carried out in order to reveal the relationships among metrics and platforms as well as the possible existence of metric cluster.


Social Media Attention Increases Article Visits: An Investigation on Article-Level Referral Data of PeerJ

Authors : Xianwen Wang, Yunxue Cui, Qingchun Li, Xinhui Guo

In order to better understand the effect of social media in the dissemination of scholarly articles, employing the daily updated referral data of 110 PeerJ articles collected over a period of 345 days, we analyze the relationship between social media attention and article visitors directed by social media.

Our results show that social media presence of PeerJ articles is high. About 68.18% of the papers receive at least one tweet from Twitter accounts other than @PeerJ, the official account of the journal.

Social media attention increases the dissemination of scholarly articles. Altmetrics could not only act as the complement of traditional citation measures but also play an important role in increasing the article downloads and promoting the impacts of scholarly articles. There also exists a significant correlation among the online attention from different social media platforms.

Articles with more Facebook shares tend to get more tweets. The temporal trends show that social attention comes immediately following publication but does not last long, so do the social media directed article views.


Making the Mission Visible: Altmetrics and Nontraditional Publishing

Authors : Jennifer L. Bonnet, Marisa Méndez-Brady


Whereas traditional book and journal publishing remain the gold standard for many post-secondary institutions, nontraditional publishing is just as prolific at the flagship university in Maine. The university has strong land and sea grant missions that drive a broad research agenda, with an emphasis on community outreach and engagement.

However, the impact of researchers’ contributions outside of academe is unlikely to be accurately reflected in promotion, tenure or review processes. Thus, the authors designed a series of altmetrics workshops aimed at seeding conversations around novel ways to track the impact of researchers’ diverse scholarly and creative outputs.


This paper presents a case study of the instructional approach taken at the University of Maine library to facilitate discussions of alternative impact assessments that reach beyond traditional publications.


Evaluations revealed an increased awareness of, and interest in, impact tracking tools that capture both traditional scholarship, like journal articles, and nontraditional scholarly and creative outputs, such as videos, podcasts and newsletters.

The authors learned that altmetrics provides an entry point into a broader conversation about scholarly impact, and was best received by those whose scholarly output is not always captured by traditional metrics.

Practical implications

Scholars are equipped with novel methods for describing the value of their work and discovering a broader audience for their research. Future initiatives will target the needs identified through initial conversations around altmetrics.


Altmetrics workshops provide spaces to explore the potential for new tools that capture a range of previously unconsidered measures of impact, and to discuss the implications of those measures.



Altmetrics and Archives

Author : Elizabeth Joan Kelly

Altmetrics are an alternative to traditional measurement of the impact of published resources. While altmetrics are primarily used by researchers and institutions to measure the impact of scholarly publications online, they can also be used by archives to measure the impact of their diverse online holdings, including digitized and born-digital collections, digital exhibits, repository websites, and online finding aids.

Furthermore, altmetrics may fill a need for user engagement assessments for cultural heritage organizations. This article introduces the concept of altmetrics for archives and discusses barriers to adoption, best practices for collection, and potential further areas of study.


Grand challenges in altmetrics: heterogeneity, data quality and dependencies

Author : Stefanie Haustein

As uptake among researchers is constantly increasing, social media are finding their way into scholarly communication and, under the umbrella term altmetrics, were introduced to research evaluation.

Fueled by technological possibilities and an increasing demand to demonstrate impact beyond the scientific community, altmetrics received great attention as potential democratizers of the scientific reward system and indicators of societal impact. This paper focuses on current challenges of altmetrics.

Heterogeneity, data quality and particular dependencies are identified as the three major issues and discussed in detail with a particular emphasis on past developments in bibliometrics.

The heterogeneity of altmetrics mirrors the diversity of the types of underlying acts, most of which take place on social media platforms. This heterogeneity has made it difficult to establish a common definition or conceptual framework.

Data quality issues become apparent in the lack of accuracy, consistency and replicability of various altmetrics, which is largely affected by the dynamic nature of social media events.

It is further highlighted that altmetrics are shaped by technical possibilities and depend particularly on the availability of APIs and DOIs, are strongly dependent on data providers and aggregators, and potentially influenced by technical affordances of underlying platforms.


Altmetrics and Grey Literature: Perspectives and Challenges

Authors : Joachim Schöpfel, Hélène Prost

Traditional metrics largely overlook grey literature. The new altmetrics introduced in 2010 as  » new, online scholarly tools (that allow) to make new filters  » (Altmetrics Manifesto), can include all kinds of scholarly output which makes them interesting for grey literature.

The topic of our paper is the connection between altmetrics and grey literature. Do altmetrics offer new opportunities for the development and impact of grey literature?

In particular, the paper explores how altmetrics could add value to grey literature, in particular how reference managers, repositories, academic search engines and social networks can produce altmetrics of dissertations, reports, conference papers etc.

We explore, too, how new altmetric tools incorporate grey literature as source for impact assessment, and if they do. The discussion analyses the potential but also the limits of the actual application of altmetrics to grey literatures and highlights the importance of unique identifiers, above all the DOI.

For the moment, grey literature missed the opportunity to get on board of the new movement.

However, getting grey literature into the heart of the coming mainstream adoption of altmetrics is not only essential for the future of grey literature in open science but also for academic and institutional control of research output and societal impact.This can be a special mission for academic librarians.