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Author: Stacy Konkiel

“The Use of Altmetrics in Promotion and Tenure” published in Educause Review

“The Use of Altmetrics in Promotion and Tenure” published in Educause Review

An article I co-authored along with Cassidy Sugimoto (Indiana University) and Sierra Williams (LSE Impact Blog) was recently published in the Educause Review.

From the intro: “Promotion and tenure decisions in the United States often rely on various scientometric indicators (e.g., citation counts and journal impact factors) as a proxy for research quality and impact. Now a new class of metrics — altmetrics — can help faculty provide impact evidence that citation-based metrics might miss: for example, the influence of research on public policy or culture, the introduction of lifesaving health interventions, and contributions to innovation and commercialization. But to do that, college and university faculty and administrators alike must take more nuanced, responsible, and informed approaches to using metrics for promotion and tenure decisions”

Read the full article on the Educause Review website.

Reddit AMA – May 10th!

Reddit AMA – May 10th!

Cross-posted from the Digital Science blog on 25th April 2016


reddit logo

Join us for a Reddit Ask Me Anything with Stacy Konkiel (@skonkiel), Outreach & Engagement Manager at Altmetric, at 6pm GMT/1pm EDT on the 10th May.

The Reddit Ask Me Anything forum is a great way to engage and interact with subject experts in a direct and honest Q&A, asking those burning questions you’ve always wanted to get their perspective on! Mark Hahnel, the founder of Figshare, Euan Adie, the founder of Altmetric and John Hammersley, co-founder of Overleaf, have also all participated in this popular discussion forum.

Following their lead, on Tuesday 10th May at 6pm UK time / 1pm EST Stacy Konkiel, Altmetric’s Outreach & Engagement Manager, will be taking part in an AMA on the AskScience subreddit.

Photo on 4-22-16 at 4.53 PM #2

Stacy plans to talk about what the metrics and indicators we like to rely upon in science (impact factor, altmetrics, citation counts, etc) to understand “broader impact” and “intellectual merit,” are actually measuring what we purport they measure.

She is not sure they do! And instead thinks that right now, we’re just using rough proxies to understand influence and attention. We’re in danger of abusing the metrics that are supposed to save us all, altmetrics, just like science has done with the journal impact factor.

Stacy will talk about improving measures of research impact, but is also open to taking other relevant questions.

If you wish to participate in the Ask Me Anything, you will need to register with Reddit. There will also be some live tweeting from @altmetric and @digitalsci, and questions on the #AskStacyAltmetric hashtag, so keep your eyes peeled!

Results of the #Force2016 Innovation Challenge: we won!

Results of the #Force2016 Innovation Challenge: we won!

I’m pleased to report that along with the team behind Radian (a knowledge portal for data management librarians), the Metric Tookit (pitched by me, Heather Coates, and Robin Champieux) has won the Force 2016 PitchIt Innovation Challenge!

I’m hugely proud and very excited about bringing this idea to life. In talking with researchers and librarians worldwide over the past two years, the single biggest request I tend to get is an easy way to understand what metrics really mean (or more importantly, what they don’t mean). This toolkit will be that resource.

We’ve already started to get some promising feedback about our plans, including these nice tweets from (one of my favorite open scientists :)) Erin McKiernan and Sara Mannheimer:

To learn more about our vision, visit the Jisc Elevator site, where we’ve submitted our pitch and an accompanying video.

Many thanks to Heather and Robin, who were the driving force behind developing such a compelling pitch deck! And thank you also to the Force11 community–we look forward to sharing our results with you soon!

What does a culturally-relevant #scholcomm practice look like?

What does a culturally-relevant #scholcomm practice look like?

I am currently at the Force 2016 conference in Portland, OR, where I presented today at a workshop for the Force Fellows on scholarly communication and crafting one’s online identity. As expected, the “teachers” at this workshop learned as much from the attendees as the attendees did from us, particularly with respect to culturally-relevant, informal scholarly communication (tweeting, blogging, etc).

Paul Groth gave an excellent talk following mine (full-text of which is forthcoming, watch this space) on best practices for writing online, during which an important conversation started.

One participant described how, at her institution–and in among Middle Eastern librarians more generally–her colleagues are too shy to even comment upon a blog post she had written. Putting one’s self “out there” in the ways Paul and I recommended (blogging, tweeting, commenting upon others’ blogs, and so on) would simply not work in her context. Though she believed in our message, she was afraid it would be a very hard sell to her colleagues.

Likewise, an attendee from Africa described how sharing one’s personal opinion on research online–even with the oft-seen Twitter/blog disclaimer, “The views expressed here do not reflect those of my employer”–was a non-starter. Among African researchers and university administrators, there is no such thing as a personal-professional divide; whatever you do and say online related to research will always reflect upon the employer.

Moreover, lots of the recommendations I was making with regard to Twitter come from my perspective as an American. I believe it is the single most valuable informal networking tool for scholars, and so I recommended it highly in this workshop. But what about more culturally-relevant, local social networks like Sina Weibo or VK? Do the techniques I describe for engaging on Twitter translate (pardon the pun) into other social networks? I honestly have no idea.

Today’s workshop seeded some important conversations about diversity in informal scholarly communication. Many of us tend to take for granted that it is good to blog, tweet, etc, but for some, that’s simply not possible.

I can’t be the first person to bring up this topic–if you know of research or commentary in this area, please do leave a comment with some links. (Most “culture”-oriented scholcomm readings I’ve found have to do only with disciplinary culture, not global cultural differences.)

I’d also like to hear from the experts at Force 2016. If you’re working with researchers outside of North America and Europe, how are expectations around informal online scholarly communication different from popular “best practices”? What are some culturally-relevant ways that you use to share and discuss research online?