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Coverage and adoption of altmetrics sources in the bibliometric community


  • Stefanie Haustein

    () (Université de Montréal, Montréal (Canada) and Science-Metrix)

  • Isabella Peters

    () (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics)

  • Judit Bar-Ilan

    () (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Jason Priem

    () (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

  • Hadas Shema

    () (Bar-Ilan University)

  • Jens Terliesner

    () (Heinrich Heine University)


Altmetrics, indices based on social media platforms and tools, have recently emerged as alternative means of measuring scholarly impact. Such indices assume that scholars in fact populate online social environments, and interact with scholarly products in the social web. We tested this assumption by examining the use and coverage of social media environments amongst a sample of bibliometricians examining both their own use of online platforms and the use of their papers on social reference managers. As expected, coverage varied: 82 % of articles published by sampled bibliometricians were included in Mendeley libraries, while only 28 % were included in CiteULike. Mendeley bookmarking was moderately correlated (.45) with Scopus citation counts. We conducted a survey among the participants of the STI2012 participants. Over half of respondents asserted that social media tools were affecting their professional lives, although uptake of online tools varied widely. 68 % of those surveyed had LinkedIn accounts, while, Mendeley, and ResearchGate each claimed a fifth of respondents. Nearly half of those responding had Twitter accounts, which they used both personally and professionally. Surveyed bibliometricians had mixed opinions on altmetrics’ potential; 72 % valued download counts, while a third saw potential in tracking articles’ influence in blogs, Wikipedia, reference managers, and social media. Altogether, these findings suggest that some online tools are seeing substantial use by bibliometricians, and that they present a potentially valuable source of impact data.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefanie Haustein & Isabella Peters & Judit Bar-Ilan & Jason Priem & Hadas Shema & Jens Terliesner, 2014. "Coverage and adoption of altmetrics sources in the bibliometric community," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 101(2), pages 1145-1163, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1221-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-013-1221-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Xuemei Li & Mike Thelwall & Dean Giustini, 2012. "Validating online reference managers for scholarly impact measurement," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 91(2), pages 461-471, May.
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