Baltimore, MD - June 20, 2013 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces a new two-phase project to study, propose, and develop community-based standards or recommended practices in the field of alternative metrics. Assessment of scholarship is a critical component of the research process, impacting everything from which projects get funded to who gains promotion and tenure to which publications gain prominence. Since Eugene Garfield's pioneering work in the 1960s, much of the work on research assessment has been based upon citations, a valuable measure but one that has failed to keep pace with online reader behavior, network interactions with content, social media, and online content management. Exemplified by innovative new platforms like ImpactStory, a new movement is growing to develop more robust alternative metrics—called altmetrics—that complement traditional citation metrics. NISO will first hold several in-person and virtual meetings to identify critical areas where altmetrics standards or recommended practices are needed and then convene a working group to develop consensus standards and/or recommended practices. The project is funded through a $207,500 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Citation analysis lacks ways to measure the newer and more prevalent ways that articles generate impact such as through social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, or blogs," explains Nettie Lagace, NISO's Associate Director for Programs. "Additionally, new forms of scholarly outputs, such as datasets, software tools, algorithms, or molecular structures are now commonplace, but they are not easily—if at all—assessed by traditional citation metrics. These are two among the many concerns the growing movement around altmetrics is trying to address."
"For altmetrics to move out of its current pilot and proof-of-concept phase, the community must begin coalescing around a suite of commonly understood definitions, calculations, and data sharing practices," states Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. "Organizations and researchers wanting to apply these metrics need to adequately understand them, ensure their consistent application and meaning across the community, and have methods for auditing their accuracy. We must agree on what gets measured, what the criteria are for assessing the quality of the measures, at what granularity these metrics are compiled and analyzed, how long a period the altmetrics should cover, the role of social media in altmetrics, the technical infrastructure necessary to exchange this data, and which new altmetrics will prove most valuable. The creation of altmetrics standards and best practices will facilitate the community trust in altmetrics, which will be a requirement for any broad-based acceptance, and will ensure that these altmetrics can be accurately compared and exchanged across publishers and platforms."
Source and Full Text Available At