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Library Technology Reports, July 2015 (51:5)

The shift in scholarly communication has called for new ways to measure scholarly impact. Altmetrics has recently garnered significant attention within the academic community as a promising new area for the measurement and evaluation of research impact by using online tools to gather a variety of metrics related to scholarly output. But how well do these promises hold up, and how can libraries help to influence the conversation regarding altmetrics and its future? This issue of Library Technology Reports introduces the concept of altmetrics in relation to existing citation-based research metrics, positioning its use in the larger academic community. Discussing both the promise and the controversy of altmetrics, the authors offer practical guidance on such topics as:

  • major academic tools and peer networks, such as institutional repositories (IRs), CiteULike, and Mendeley;
  • Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, and other social media sources that comprise the spectrum of altmetrics;
  • altmetric harvesting tools, such as Altmetric, Impactstory, and Plum X;
  • educating and supporting the academic community in the use of altmetrics;
  • measuring article-level impact independent of scholarly journals.

Robin Chin Roemer

Robin Chin Roemer is the instructional design and outreach services librarian at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle, Washington. Her responsibilities include support for online learning, professional and continuing education programs, and information literacy initiatives across the UW Libraries.

Rachel Borchardt

Rachel Borchardt is the Science Librarian at American University in Washington, DC. In addition to research metrics, her library passions include instruction, assessment, and marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys Ultimate Frisbee, running, and playing games of all kinds. Her dream is to one day own a pinball machine, preferably Medieval Madness. She currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, Dalmatian-mixed breed dog, Rorschach, and two cats, Sadie and Cole.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication and how you can subscribe here.