Hans Zijlstra, Marketing Project Manager for Elsevier’s Researcher Engagement department, has been involved with the Altmetrics Conference since its inception, and this year he is a member of the organizing committee. Here, he gives a preview of the event and the involvement of his Elsevier colleagues.
The field of altmetrics – which involves measuring the impact of scholarly articles using non-traditional sources like social media and news stories – continues to grow in stature among the academic community. Funders and institutions are becoming more aware of the need to understand the social impact of research. This thirst for knowledge has certainly been reflected in the growing number of submissions to the 3rd Altmetrics Conference, 3:AM, this week in Bucharest, Romania.
This year, our committee has focused on reflecting this increased status while restructuring some of the sessions to make sure we hear from a diverse audience.
The European Commission (EC) has recently set up its Expert Group on Altmetrics, and Dr. René von Schomberg, Teamleader for Science Policy at the EC, will give the keynote address. In a related panel, Prof. Isabella Peters, Professor of Web Science at the German National Library of Economics and a members of the Expert Group – will be leading a panel on Open Science.
This year’s conference has a strong international theme, with speakers from all around Europe, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Russia, Singapore, Japan and the United States. One panel is looking at altmetrics around the world, and another is focusing on specific challenges facing research evaluation in Eastern Europe.
There has been a recent initiative to start looking at metrics and altmetrics for research software – a long neglected research output. Now that datasets have been recognized by many organizations as primary research outputs, what will follow? One of the key movers in this area, Dr. Daniel S Katz, Assistant Director for Scientific Software and Applications at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois, will be talking about the importance of extending recognition of software.
A new feature for the conference are the “lightning talks” – two sessions of 5-minute talks, which should provide some lively engagement.
At the end of the event there will be a debate on the future of altmetrics.
Elsevier’s involvement with altmetrics
From its early days, Elsevier experts have been playing a leading role in the field of altmetrics. Dr. Paul Groth, Disruptive Technology Director for Elsevier Labs in Amsterdam, was one of the founders of the Altmetrics Manifesto in 2010. Elsevier has also supplied data from its Mendeley and Scopus platforms; displayed usage metrics in Scopus and ScienceDirect, hosted webinars, and supported related events and initiatives.
The next conference, 2:AM, took place in Amsterdam last year, where Cristina Huidiu, Trainer for Information Services at Elsevier, successfully lobbied to bring the conference to her home country, Romania. This year’s 3:AM conference will be hosted at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, the first and largest medical university in the country.
3rd Altmetrics Conference, 3:AM
This conference is on Wednesday and Thursday, September 28 and 29, with related events on the days before and after.
You can find more about the schedule on the Altmetrics Conference website.