The Failure of Altmetrics

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Sugimoto, Cassidy
In this talk, Cassidy Sugimoto argues that altmetrics have failed to deliver on their promise. She discusses criticisms of altmetrics (including those dealing with validity and reliability issues), but argues that the largest failure of altmetrics has been the focus on a single genre‰ÛÓthat is, the journal article‰ÛÓand setting altmetrics up as an alternative to citations. Sugimoto introduces the notion of outcomes-based evaluation and demonstrates that altmetrics cannot be equated with outcomes in this model. She urges the community to rethink ways in which we can build metrics that can capture larger societal impact. She discusses four axes of potential impact: production, dissemination, engagement, assessment. In each of these, she reviews various examples of current initiatives and challenges the audience to conceive of possible metrics to capture the desired outcome in each scenario.
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