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Threats linked to Altmetrics

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What are the Threats in Altmetrics? Here you will discover the Strengths in Altmetrics, as identified by OpenUP consortium.


SWOT Analysis is a very useful technique for understanding the Strengths and Weaknesses of Altmetrics and for identifying both the Opportunities and the Threats that the alternative metrics confront. Here you will discover the Threats, existing in the publishing environment of Altmetrics. The Altmetrics' Threats are the following:

1. Algorithmization of reception and knowledge flows

Algorithmization of reception behaviour has been a recurring motive in critique towards web-based or bibliometrically informed knowledge sourcing. The overall argument in all these critiques is the delegation and substitution of manual knowledge sourcing towards algorithmically informed knowledge sourcing will lead to a uniformity of knowledge sourcing and lock-in effects, which in turn will spur herding behaviour towards certain knowledge sources. Opponents to this view highlight that without such algorithmization the accelerating growth of new knowledge cannot be adequately addressed.

2. Strong dependence of Altmetrics on Digital Object Identifiers

One threat to Altmetrics is the strong dependence on DOIs. The problem, in this case, is twofold.

  1. Research output that does not feature a DOI will potentially covered less than research output that is covered by DOI.
  2. Variation in knowledge about the relevance of DOIs for Altmetrics could introduce a source of error both between but also within disciplines.

This effect could be mediated both through the producer and user side of knowledge. Producers failing to include DOI information in their social media based communication could be at a loss of reception through not being covered by data collection through Altmetrics aggregators. Conversely, when the use of DOI is not widely diffused this might lead to bias in data from the reception side.




Additional Info

  • I am a: Young scholar, Researcher, Funder, Open Science advocate, Publisher
  • Domain: Impact Assessment
  • Type of resource: Features
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