Research Topic

Altmetrics: Opportunities and Challenges

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The increasing scholarly use of social media by researchers and the public provides researchers with a deluge of data sources that may lead to new insights into the dynamics of research. Altmetrics offers new ways to measure the impact of research on social media. These emerging data sources present ...

The increasing scholarly use of social media by researchers and the public provides researchers with a deluge of data sources that may lead to new insights into the dynamics of research. Altmetrics offers new ways to measure the impact of research on social media. These emerging data sources present challenges as well as opportunities, to conduct innovative studies from a broader and timelier perspective than traditional metrics.

According to previous research, besides the discussion about basic definition and methodology of altmetrics, in practice, it could be used in many ways, including: tracking the act of social conversations around research (who says what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect?), evaluating the relationship between traditional metrics and alternative metrics, designing new methods or tools for research evaluation, identifying the function, application, limitation and challenge of altmetrics indicators in research evaluation, clarifying the role of altmetrics in research evaluation, investigating the participation of scientists of social network (why, how and do what?), exploring the relationship between Open Access and altmetrics, tracing the knowledge diffusion on web, and detecting the hot topics and research fronts, etc. Potential topics include but are not limited to all of the above.

Overall, the development of altmetrics not only provides new alternative/supplementary ways to evaluate scholarly/societal impact of publications, but also develops possible novel ideas to solve problems that could hardly have been investigated by traditional methods. Relative research helps scientometrics stay fresh and broaden horizons. Therefore, this research topic aims to provide a forum for the dissemination of innovative research on altmetrics.


Keywords: altmetrics, social media, big data, usage metrics, scholarly/societal impact, digital library, research evaluation, public understanding of science, science communication, science engagement, scholarly communication


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