All About Altmetrics: NISO’s Information Standards Quarterly

We’ve written quite a bit here on altmetrics, so I was quite thrilled to get an update (via my colleague and fellow altmetrics enthusiast Jean Song) that the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has just released a special themed issue of its Information Standards Quarterly (ISQ) publication, focusing solely on altmetrics.


An announcement on the Library and Information Technology Association’s listserv (lita-l) from ISQ’s managing editor give some more detail into the content of the special issue:

“The guest content editor for this September 2013 issue (volume 25, issue 2) is none other than Martin Fenner, the Technical Lead Article-Level Metrics for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and Project Manager for the ORCID DataCite Interoperability Network (ODIN). Collaborating with NISO and ISQ, he has assembled a set of articles that go beyond the basics of what altmetrics are to look at emerging best practices and challenges presented by this burgeoning field. “Altmetrics have grown up,” states Fenner, “and the articles in this issue of ISQ reflect this shift in the discussion.”

The feature article, Consuming Article-Level Metrics, by Scott Chamberlain (Simon Fraser University) discusses the issues encountered when using scripting interfaces to obtain data from the four largest article-level metrics providers: PLOS, ImpactStory, Altmetric, and Plum Analytics. Commonalities and differences in consistency, provenance, and context are illustrated and metrics users are cautioned about combining data across providers.

While much of the focus to date has been on the use of altmetrics by and for individual researchers, Robin Chin Roemer (University of Washington Libraries) andRachel Borchardt (American University) in the second feature discuss Institutional Altmetrics and Academic Libraries, specifically how altmetrics has begun to address the needs of institutions and the key roles that librarians can play as partners, liaisons, and advocates in such endeavors.

Three “in practice” articles provide case studies for the way altmetrics are being used today. Jennifer Lin and Martin Fenner describe how altmetrics can be classified into different categories and how PLOS developed a new ontology to make sense of it all. Mike Taylor (Elsevier) discusses how altmetrics can expand our vision of scholarly communication and social impact, well beyond what bibliometrics and citation has done. William Gunn explores how the addition of papers to the Mendeley academic social network can provide a different view of research impact both within and beyond a particular discipline.”


You can access a PDF of the full issue here.

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