Manchester eScholar Blog: Institutional Repositories and measuring research impact 2012-06-04


For better or worse universities and researchers are coming under increasing pressure to demonstrate the wider impact that their funded research has beyond the end of the research project. But some are questioning whether traditional methods of measuring impact (peer-review, citation counts, Journal Impact Factor) are still fit for purpose in the modern research environment. The open nature of the social web is continuing to have a disrupting effect on many aspects of scholarly communication. Today's research article is increasingly likely to be disseminated via social media/bookmarking websites making it instantly available to huge numbers of potential readers due to the innately viral nature of these services. The exciting part is that modern web technologies make it possible to track each time an article is accessed from a tweet, blog or social bookmarking site. Now researchers can see in real-time how their research is being received around the globe. Transparent conversations evolve around papers as every (re)tweet, comment and annotation is available to be recorded and aggregated. This opens up the possibility to measure and define impact in new ways. A number of emerging services are taking the first steps to build impact metrics based on these new usage data - collectively they are referred to as altmetrics. The people behind these services believe altmetrics may in future be used to supplement (or replace!) traditional methods of measuring impact - they even have a manifesto... how can institutional repositories (IRs) capitalise on this broadening definition of research impact in order to benefit researchers?  The continuing failure to convince many researchers of the positive benefits of depositing to their IR is a common criticism of the repository community. The availability of this trove of rich usage data represents an opportunity for IRs to demonstrate the frequency with which the research they contain is used on the web.  Here at Manchester we've begun to make usage data captured using Google Analytics available through a new section of the service called 'View metrics'. Hopefully, by allowing researchers to see when, where and how often their eScholar records have been viewed and downloaded we can demonstrate how depositing research to eScholar can contribute to overall impact.  In addition to usage data the 'View metrics' section also displays citation metrics under license from Thomson Reuters' InCites - Research Analytics as well as detailed metrics describing deposit activity. Researchers can view their own metrics as well as the metrics of their colleagues.”


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »

Tags: oa.comment oa.universities oa.libraries oa.deposits oa.peer_review oa.impact oa.usage oa.quality oa.social_media oa.twitter oa.prestige oa.librarians oa.jif oa.citations oa.compliance oa.colleges oa.altmetrics oa.blogs oa.u.manchester oa.escholar oa.best_practices oa.tagging oa.hei oa.metrics oa.repositories

Date tagged:

06/04/2012, 07:57

Date published:

06/04/2012, 03:57