For those who want to track metrics for the broader impact of the scholarship they’ve uploaded to the IUScholarWorks repository, we are pleased to announce that altmetrics badges and reports (powered by Altmetric.com) are now available, in addition to usage statistics.
Altmetrics are social media metrics related to any scholarly output–a journal article, a data set, a working paper, or even a slide deck presented at a conference. The Altmetric.com service currently reports altmetrics for any scholarly content that has a DOI, Handle, PubMed ID, or ArXiv ID.
How it works
On any item record in our repository to which an Altmetric.com badge has been added, you’ll see the badge appear in the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar, under the “Statistics” section. (See an example here.) Hovering over the badge with your cursor, you can see an abbreviated report of the social media attention that item has received, including tweets, scholarly blog posts, and social bookmarks on services like Mendeley. By clicking on the badge, you’ll be taken to a full report on Altmetric.com, which offers a drill-down view into your social media metrics and demographics of those who have tweeted about your work.
If you already have content on IUScholarWorks to which you want to add a badge, email your collection administrator or the IUScholarWorks team. For new content, you’ll be given the option to add a badge during the deposit process; pay careful attention when filling out information during your next deposit.
Badges are publicly displayed. There is not yet ‘depositor-only’ access to the altmetrics for your repository content. Depositors wishing to privately view altmetrics for their research on IUScholarWorks repository can subscribe to Altmetric.com’s paid service or sign up for a free ImpactStory account. (Full disclosure: I am a recent hire of ImpactStory.)
Not interested in altmetrics? That’s fine, too. Badges are by default hidden on all existing and new deposits. The service is opt-in by design.
Why we have implemented this service
In talking with regular users of our service, we’ve learned that faculty and graduate students are keen to track how their scholarship is being consumed and shared, within the Academy and beyond. This service will allow interested users to do so.
We believe that an altmetrics reporting service will help scholars to better understand the nuances of what it means to be “impactful” in an an increasingly networked research environment. Our service surfaces a greater variety of impact measures, and can help scholars understand and connect with new audiences.
On a final note, it is also important to bear in mind that relevant quantitative measures of impact differ from discipline to discipline, and that altmetrics as currently conceived (and reported by Altmetric.com) may not meet the needs of historians as well as they do for biologists. As the field matures, we expect to support and experiment with emerging services in our repository.