Altmetrics: New Indicators for Scientific Communication in Web 2.0

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university


In this paper we review the socalled altmetrics or alternative metrics. This concept raises from the development of new indicators based on Web 2.0, for the evaluation of the research and academic activity. The basic assumption is that variables such as mentions in blogs, number of twits or of researchers bookmarking a research paper for instance, may be legitimate indicators for measuring the use and impact of scientific publications. In this sense, these indicators are currently the focus of the bibliometric community and are being discussed and debated. We describe the main platforms and indicators and we analyze as a sample the Spanish research output in Communication Studies. Comparing traditional indicators such as citations with these new indicators. The results show that the most cited papers are also the ones with a highest impact according to the altmetrics. We conclude pointing out the main shortcomings these metrics present and the role they may play when measuring the research impact through 2.0 platforms.


The authors:

“If these indicators are indeed wanted, beyond mere experiments and academic studies, for use in the evaluation of scientific activity, there is no doubt that the many theoretical (significance), methodological (valid sources) and technical (normalisation) problems should still be resolved. These indicators should clearly be used for measuring the social impact of science and, above all, for measuring the impact or immediate visibility of publications, an impossibiity for citation. The new metrics have a very short journey, with an initial burst of activity capturing the visibility of papers at the very moment of publication (Priem & Hemmiger, 2010). This facet complements the classic indicators and even expert reviews, which altmetrics should not aspire to substitute, a situation and a function noted by most scientists”



Altmetrics: New Indicators for Scientific Communication in Web 2.0Daniel Torres-Salinas, Alvaro Cabezas-Clavijo, Evaristo Jimenez-Contreras2013DOI:10.3916/C41-2013-05Cite as:



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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

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