Thing 20 is mostly task-based, and it’s pretty simple. We want you to blog, tweet or otherwise share a link to something you’ve produced. If you’re a published researcher, try an article. If not, how about a presentation, or a blog post on another blog? If you really can’t think of anything, you can share a link to an article you think is particularly interesting.
The task will be more useful if you can measure visits to the link you share, so if you don’t have the ability to do that on the actual website you’re sharing, you may want to consider using a tool like bit.ly to shorten the link. Make sure you’ve set up an account and logged in before you create the link, otherwise you won’t be able to get back in a track it.
Keep an eye on your link and the clicks or readers it produces. Do you see any increase over time? If not, are there ways you could target certain audiences (perhaps a guest post on a high-traffic blog with a link to your article)?
Exploring further and some things to think about: Bibliometrics and altmetrics
Bibliometrics offer a set of methods to quantitatively analyse scientific and technological literature (see Wikipedia). This often consists of analysing citations to determine impact. Although not without flaws, bibliometrics are often considered an important part of determining the value and impact of a particular article, and they may be taken into consideration when making hiring or tenure decisions. The altmetrics manifesto argues that new forms of scholarly and popular communication (e.g. social media) require a rethink of how we measure impact; we need to take into account links, conversations and other ‘non-traditional’ ways of citing a paper. It is harder to measure and easier to manipulate these results, but they represent an important aspect of reading and research. Some major databases/publishers are embracing new models; Public Library of Science, for instance, has expanded their take on article metrics to include online usage data, citations, social networks, blog and media coverage and discussion activity.
Metrics are useful, but they can only tell part of the story. It’s important to keep in mind that metrics are not necessarily an appropriate way to measure quality (see this REF2014 study on Bibliometrics); simply being cited doesn’t mean that your paper is good (what if all the citations say that you’re horrifically wrong?).
Metrics can be a useful personal and professional measure of your data online.There are things you can do to keep track of your research impact online. Google Scholar lets you set up a profile and track publications that cite you. ResearcherID lets you assign yourself a unique identifier (much like a DOI) that ensures other people of your name don’t get linked to your articles. Web of Science lets you map citations. If you’re interested in exploring these tools further, we recommend the DH23 post on bibliometrics, which will guide you through them.
What did you share, and how? What would you hope to get from sharing a link? More visits? More conversation? What do you think you can do in future to help that happen?
You can combine this post with Thing 19, if you prefer. Don’t forget to tag the post Thing 20.
- Twitter, peer review and altmetrics: the future of research impact assessment (Guardian HE live chat)
- Altmetrics: Trying to fill the gap (Scholarly Kitchen)
- Altmetrics Manifesto
- Blogging and Twitter for Academia (Elizabeth Eva Leach)