Characterizing Social Media Metrics of Scholarly Papers: The Effect of Document Properties and Collaboration Patterns

“A number of new metrics based on social media platforms—grouped under the term “altmetrics”—have recently been introduced as potential indicators of research impact. Despite their current popularity, there is a lack of information regarding the determinants of these metrics. Using publication and citation data from 1.3 million papers published in 2012 and covered in Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science as well as social media counts from Altmetric.com, this paper analyses the main patterns of five social media metrics as a function of document characteristics (i.e., discipline, document type, title length, number of pages and references) and collaborative practices and compares them to patterns known for citations. Results show that the presence of papers on social media is low, with 21.5% of papers receiving at least one tweet, 4.7% being shared on Facebook, 1.9% mentioned on blogs, 0.8% found on Google+ and 0.7% discussed in mainstream media. By contrast, 66.8% of papers have received at least one citation. Our findings show that both citations and social media metrics increase with the extent of collaboration and the length of the references list. On the other hand, while editorials and news items are seldom cited, it is these types of document that are the most popular on Twitter. Similarly, while longer papers typically attract more citations, an opposite trend is seen on social media platforms. Finally, contrary to what is observed for citations, it is papers in the Social Sciences and humanities that are the most often found on social media platforms. On the whole, these findings suggest that factors driving social media and citations are different. Therefore, social media metrics cannot actually be seen as alternatives to citations; at most, they may function as complements to other type of indicators.”

URL : Characterizing Social Media Metrics of Scholarly Papers

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0120495

New data, new possibilities: Exploring the insides of Altmetric.com

“This paper analyzes Altmetric.com, one of the most important altmetric data providers currently used. We have analyzed a set of publications with DOI number indexed in the Web of Science during the period 2011-2013 and collected their data with the Altmetric API. 19% of the original set of papers was retrieved from Altmetric.com including some altmetric data. We identified 16 different social media sources from which Altmetric.com retrieves data. However five of them cover 95.5% of the total set. Twitter (87.1%) and Mendeley (64.8%) have the highest coverage. We conclude that Altmetric.com is a transparent, rich and accurate tool for altmetric data. Nevertheless, there are still potential limitations on its exhaustiveness as well as on the selection of social media sources that need further research.”

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1408.0135

Altmetrics as a means of assessing scholarly output

“Career progression for scientists involves an assessment of their contribution to their field and a prediction of their future potential. Traditional measures, such as the impact factor of the journal that a researcher publishes in, may not be an appropriate or accurate means of assessing the overall output of an individual. The development of altmetrics offers the potential for fuller assessments of a researcher’s output based on both their traditional and non-traditional scholarly outputs. New tools should make it easier to include non-traditional outputs such as data, software and contributions to peer review in the evaluation of early- and mid-career researchers.”

URL : http://dx.doi.org/10.1087/20140505

Novel Research Impact Indicators

Citation counts and more recently usage statistics provide valuable information about the attention and research impact associated with scholarly publications.

The open access publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS) has pioneered the concept of article-level metrics, where these metrics are collected on a per article and not a per journal basis and are complemented by real-time data from the social web or altmetrics: blog posts, social bookmarks, social media and other.

URL : Novel Research Impact Indicators
Alternative URL : http://liber.library.uu.nl/index.php/lq/article/view/8427

Tracing scientists’ research trends realtimely

In this research, we propose a method to trace scientists’ research trends realtimely. By monitoring the downloads of scientific articles in the journal of Scientometrics for 744 hours, namely one month, we investigate the download statistics.

Then we aggregate the keywords in these downloaded research papers, and analyze the trends of article downloading and keyword downloading. Furthermore, taking both the download of keywords and publication of articles into consideration, we design a method to detect the emerging research trends.

We find that in scientometrics field, social media, new indices to quantify scientific productivity (g-index), webometrics, semantic, text mining, open access are emerging fields that information scientists are focusing on.”

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.1349

Altmetrics in the wild: Using social media to explore scholarly impact

In growing numbers, scholars are integrating social media tools like blogs, Twitter, and Mendeley into their professional communications. The online, public nature of these tools exposes and reifies scholarly processes once hidden and ephemeral. Metrics based on this activities could inform broader, faster measures of impact, complementing traditional citation metrics. This study explores the properties of these social media-based metrics or “altmetrics”, sampling 24,331 articles published by the Public Library of Science.

We find that that different indicators vary greatly in activity. Around 5% of sampled articles are cited in Wikipedia, while close to 80% have been included in at least one Mendeley library. There is, however, an encouraging diversity; a quarter of articles have nonzero data from five or more different sources. Correlation and factor analysis suggest citation and altmetrics indicators track related but distinct impacts, with neither able to describe the complete picture of scholarly use alone.

There are moderate correlations between Mendeley and Web of Science citation, but many altmetric indicators seem to measure impact mostly orthogonal to citation. Articles cluster in ways that suggest five different impact “flavors”, capturing impacts of different types on different audiences; for instance, some articles may be heavily read and saved by scholars but seldom cited. Together, these findings encourage more research into altmetrics as complements to traditional citation measures.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.4745