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Advanced Mini Challenge #3: Altmetric

7 replies, 5 voices Last updated by  Caitlin Duffy 3 years, 2 months ago
  • Author
  • #14854

    Caitlin Duffy

    Hello, campers!

    I’ve just posted about our third mini-challenge on our blog. You can find the post here.

    For this mini-challenge, you don’t need to create anything new. Instead, it asks you to explore two super helpful (free) tools created by Altmetric. One tool helps you to have greater awareness and control of the digital conversations surrounding your CORE uploads, the other allows you to clearly display the influence of your work on your digital CV and/or professional website.

    As always, let us know if you have any questions. Enjoy these tools!

  • #14962

    Sara Santos

    These tools are extremely helpful! I experimented a little bit with the Altmetric bookmarklet on a few articles to see what scholars in my area of interest are saying about those articles/subjects. I found the demographic and geographical breakdown particularly interesting, because it made me much more aware of who might be reading my own work. Most of the articles I downloaded for my own research tended to draw a larger crowd from the social sciences and philosophy than from English literature, which made me realize that my work may circulate in much more interdisciplinary circles than I originally thought. This also got me thinking about strategies (rhetorical, generic, etc.) that I can use to tailor my work to that audience that I’m now more aware of.

    I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on how this type of audience awareness has influenced, and influences now, your writing/presentation process, and whether Altmetric has changed your perspective in any way!

    It’s also great to see the reach that our work has on social media platforms like Twitter!

  • #14994

    Marissa K. López

    Well … I tried it, but it was depressing.  A lot of my articles are with journals that don’t assign DOIs, so nothing is generating buzz.  And the one that I did check had 1 tweet, from MLA from when I deposited it in CORE a few years ago.  I’m not sure I want to put a badge on my personal website advertising that.

    On the positive side, I can see how I could and should be using networks to drum up mentions and tweets, so I can boost the numbers on my DOIs.  I get that CORE will assign a DOI so people can find my stuff and I can raise my numbers that way, but what if journals won’t let me archive in CORE?  Then I’m SOL, I guess?

  • #15015

    Nina Lager Vestberg

    @mklopez, I am really glad you share your doubts about the value of the Altmetric tools here. I did install the Altmetric It plug-in, and tried it out briefly, but was mainly disappointed by the limited places in which it seems to be looking for mentions. Also surprised to find, when I tried it on somebody else’s work (which I consider well-known in my field) that the numbers were underwhelming.

    Then, after reading your post I started thinking about what these kinds of tools are doing to us, as opposed to for us (to paraphrase Sherry Turkle). Do academics really need another metric against which to (fear they will) pull up short? Another version of “likes” to go with the ones on Facebook, Twitter, Insta, etc.? The reason I shut down my account with and joined HumCommons was to get away from the pernicious data-mongering of the “Facebook for professors”, so no badge for me, thanks.

    I get that Altmetric is an alternative to the citation counting of Google Scholars and similar, and I absolutely see the value of discovering who is reading  (as opposed to citing) your work or work that you are reading yourself, in the way @sarastarbucksantos describes. But such tools are nevertheless another contribution to the general metrification of scholarship, which I think is unhelpful, to say the least.

    <span class=”handle-sign”>@</span>caitlinduffy49: Apologies if voicing this kind of grumpy-trousers sentiment is against the spirit of summer camp! I just think that metrics are becoming disproportionately valued for their own sake in the humanities, adding in particular to the already considerable burden of non-tenured academics (and I can take the risk of saying that, because I have tenure myself).

  • #15054

    Caitlin Duffy

    @sarastarbucksantos: Thanks for sharing how you’re using Altmetric to research the current work in your field! I think that’s a great idea (and one that I plan to use myself).

    @mklopez : Altmetric is not a perfect tool, so it is bound to come up short in some areas. For example, the fact that articles need a DOI in order for Altmetric to track it is limiting, as you mention. I also wouldn’t worry too much about Altmetric returning small numbers for your articles. Nina looked up a well-regarded and popular article from her field on Altmetric, only to find that the results were underwhelming. I think this is partly because not everyone who discusses articles on social media include the articles’ DOIs in their post. As for your question about getting DOIs for your articles, have you checked SHERPA/RoMEO? Maybe some of the journals will allow you to share an early draft of your article?

    @ninalager : This is not at all going against the spirit of summer camp! Part of the purpose of HC Summer Camp is to generate helpful discussions on topics like this! Your concerns are similar to the ones held by the Humanities Commons team. They have been very careful and thoughtful in regards to the metrics that they include on HC for the same reasons you describe (which is why there are very few metrics on HC).  Using Altmetric in tandem with HC is a good option for those who want metrics of their work, but it is also purposefully not required.

    On that note, the HC team would be incredibly grateful to receive ideas from users regarding which metrics would be (or would not be) helpful  to include on HC. If you have any thoughts, please let them know either through their email ( or on the HC feedback group.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Caitlin Duffy.
  • #15064

    Nina Lager Vestberg

    @caitlinduffy49 : Thanks for alerting us to SHERPA/RoMEO! I think this will help me resolve the concerns I had over depositing my own work in CORE.

  • #15075

    Mollie Freier

    I took a course last summer on Metrics, and was grateful that we humanists don’t have to rely on such things as Journal Impact Factor or H-index. I found Altmetric very interesting, and I’ve been following a publication of mine ever since. Here’s the link to my article “The Librarian in Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.” Without Altmetric, I don’t think I’d know that I’d been cited in Wikipedia. And Twitter has generated a lot of downloads for this article–back in January, someone posted the link to someone as they were forming a private DM group on Harry Potter, and (apparently) a lot of people saw that tweet and downloaded the article. I can now fantasize about the no-doubt spirited discussion of my work that took place in that private DM group–or that didn’t take place.

    Basically Altmetric will add to your rating (the number in the rainbow doughnut) every time someone publicly tweets about your work.

    You can also check Google Scholar for citations to your work–and you can look up those well-respected scholars there, too.

  • #15120

    Caitlin Duffy

    @mollief Thanks for sharing! I appreciate Altmetric’s ability to alert you to locations where your work is cited that you otherwise might not have been aware of, like Wikipedia (so cool that you’re cited on Wikipedia!).

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