altmetrics, social media, scholarly communication


New knowledge is built on existing knowledge and academic libraries are the primary repositories of existing knowledge for the scholars whose work they support. In these times of belt tightening and budget reductions, it behooves academic libraries to think about how to demonstrate to administrators the value being returned on investments in the library, and to provide scholars with tools to do the same. Traditional means of measuring the quality of new knowledge like the impact factor and h-index are being made richer and more meaningful through the addition of new, social media based alternative metrics. Altmetrics also provide scholars communicating in non-traditional venues like the blogosphere and the Twitterverse with meaningful measures of the impact of their work. In this presentation I will introduce altmetrics, discuss their advantages and disadvantages relative to more traditional metrics, and propose some specific uses to which academic libraries may put altmetrics in support of the transitions now occurring in scholarly communication and thus in academic libraries

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