Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Altmetrics – fancy feature or peer review’s successor?

An interesting comment on Altmetrics (from Open Science)

"...It is still quite a new phenomenon in scientific publishing, but the idea behind it is simple. When submitting your article online, you would like to know how many people have read it, how many people are talking about it, their opinions and whether your work is important to them. Altmetrics gives you the answer, as well as an opportunity to find out which articles are widely disputed in your field, and could therefore be of significance to you. Moreover, there are also some people who believe that altmetrics could replace the Impact Factor and even peer review.... "

Find out more about Altmetrics

With altmetrics, we can crowdsource peer-review. Instead of waiting months for two opinions, an article’s impact might be assessed by thousands of conversations and bookmarks in a week. In the short term, this is likely to supplement traditional peer-review, perhaps augmenting rapid review in journals like PLoS ONE, BMC Research Notes, or BMJ Open. In the future, greater participation and better systems for identifying expert contributors may allow peer review to be performed entirely from altmetrics. Unlike citation metrics, altmetrics will track impact outside the academy, impact of influential but uncited work, and impact from sources that aren’t peer-reviewed. Some have suggested altmetrics would be too easy to game; we argue the opposite. The JIF is appallingly open to manipulation; mature altmetrics systems could be more robust, leveraging the diversity of of altmetrics and statistical power of big data to algorithmically detect and correct for fraudulent activity. This approach already works for online advertisers, social news sites, Wikipedia, and search engines. 

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