We are excited to be partnering with Altmetric to enhance the article metrics currently available on Taylor & Francis Online and Cogent OA. Added to all journal articles published since January 2012, Altmetric data will offer users a more complete picture of how people are engaging with research articles from Taylor & Francis Group, whether via traditional or social media, blogs, or online reference managers. We spoke to Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric to find out more about Altmetric and how he thinks the addition of these metrics will improve the user experience for authors, editors, and readers.
At Altmetric.com we've spent the past few years building up a set of tools for authors and editors to see the conversations happening around their research as well as any indicators of broader impact, and we're really pleased that Taylor & Francis Online is going to be using Altmetric badges and our new details page design from the end of this month.
You'll be able to click through on the Altmetric badges in the sidebar or underneath titles in the table of contents and see the underlying mentions from newspapers, magazines, blogs, social media and policy documents, as well as comments on post-publication peer-review sites. People use Altmetrics in lots of cool, interesting ways: we ran a blog series recently talking to academics about how they use the data relating to their papers.
There's still work to be done though. One of the things that we, and the wider Altmetrics community, try to acknowledge and account for is biases in the data we collect, in the research outputs we track, and in the kind of authors we work with. One of those biases is a tendency to focus on English-speaking sources (there's some great thinking around this by Juan Pablo Alperin). Another is to do with different outputs – it's difficult to collect online indicators of impact for things that have little direct online presence, like a concert or a sculpture, for example.
Importantly, there's also a slight bias towards STM topics at the expense of the other disciplines. That's partly a true reflection of the activity happening online around research – there is genuinely more government policy around health or the environment than there is around medieval archaeology. It's possibly easier to encourage public engagement with studies in psychology than in post-modernism.
But ... it's also a reflection of the backgrounds and priorities of the people collecting the data and building the tools. The staff at Altmetric have written theses or research papers on signal processing, bioinformatics, pharmacology and information science, but we don't have much experience publishing in or working in other fields.
That's one of the reasons we're looking forward to expanding our work with Taylor & Francis, which publishes content across a wide range of disciplines. We've always set great store by feedback from authors and editors as they're the ones who actually use the article-level metrics data, so we're looking forward to being able to learn from users at Taylor & Francis and to refine our understanding of different fields.
If you think we're missing a source of attention like a particular blog or news outlet, or a specific use of research that could be an indicator of wider impact, then just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org – we want to hear from you!