Repositioning altmetrics: From metrics to indicators of research strengths
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Academic librarians especially those with subject responsibilities use various methods to know about the research being produced within its universities. This might include conducting specific searches in databases, reading research newsletters, talking to faculty and graduate students, and attending faculty council meetings among other activities. A better understanding of academic research could probably translate into targeted collection development activities. In the present situation with limited budgets, libraries in different types of higher education institutions will need to be proactive while building teaching and research collections that emphasize their support for the specific directions taken by their universities. Research metrics will have a big role to play in academic libraries, especially in the current world scenario. Altmetrics can be of immense help to subject librarians trying to understand the emerging research within their areas, while anticipating new programs and expansions. I have been using Altmetric Explorer (free librarian version) and databases, including PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar along with Tableau in my analysis. These different tools can help to highlight and visualize the highly discussed and cited papers from our universities. The role of altmetrics needs to be repositioned in today’s academia. It is time that we start learning from these diverse sets of metrics on how they can inform us make important decisions that will eventually help support our researchers while increasing our university’s profile.
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