Geographic variation in social media metrics: an analysis of Latin American journal articles

Author: Juan Pablo Alperin

Purpose: This study aims to contribute to the understanding of how the potential of altmetrics varies around the world by measuring the percentage of articles with non-zero metrics (coverage) for articles published from a developing region (Latin America).

Design/methodology/approach: This study uses article metadata from a prominent Latin American journal portal, SciELO, and combines it with altmetrics data from and with data collected by author-written scripts. The study is primarily descriptive, focusing on coverage levels disaggregated by year, country, subject area, and language.

Findings: Coverage levels for most of the social media sources studied was zero or negligible. Only three metrics had coverage levels above 2%—Mendeley, Twitter, and Facebook. Of these, Twitter showed the most significant differences with previous studies. Mendeley coverage levels reach those found by previous studies, but it takes up to two years longer for articles to be saved in the reference manager. For the most recent year, coverage was less than half than what was found in previous studies. The coverage levels of Facebook appear similar (around 3%) to that of previous studies.

Research limitations/implications: The data used for some of the analyses was collected for a six month period. For other analyses, data was only available for a single country (Brazil).

Originality/value: The results of this study have implications for the altmetrics research community and for any stakeholders interested in using altmetrics for evaluation. It suggests the need of careful sample selection when wishing to make generalizable claims about altmetrics.

Citation: Juan Pablo Alperin, (2015) “Geographic variation in social media metrics: an analysis of Latin American journal articles”, Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 67 Issue: 3, pp.289-304, doi: 10.1108/AJIM-12-2014-0176


arXiv e-prints and the journal of record: An analysis of roles and relationships

Authors: Vincent Larivière, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Benoit Macaluso, Staša Milojević, Blaise Cronin, and Mike Thelwall

Abstract: Since its creation in 1991, arXiv has become central to the diffusion of research in a number of fields. Combining data from the entirety of arXiv and the Web of Science (WoS), this paper investigates (a) the proportion of papers across all disciplines that are on arXiv and the proportion of arXiv papers that are in the WoS, (b) elapsed time between arXiv submission and journal publication, and (c) the aging characteristics and scientific impact of arXiv e-prints and their published version. It shows that the proportion of WoS papers found on arXiv varies across the specialties of physics and mathematics, and that only a few specialties make extensive use of the repository. Elapsed time between arXiv submission and journal publication has shortened but remains longer in mathematics than in physics. In physics, mathematics, as well as in astronomy and astrophysics, arXiv versions are cited more promptly and decay faster than WoS papers. The arXiv versions of papers — both published and unpublished — have lower citation rates than published papers, although there is almost no difference in the impact of the arXiv versions of both published and unpublished papers.

Citation: Larivière, V., Sugimoto, C. R., Macaluso, B., Milojević, S., Cronin, B. and Thelwall, M. (2014), arXiv E-prints and the journal of record: An analysis of roles and relationships. J Assn Inf Sci Tec, 65: 1157–1169. doi:10.1002/asi.23044, arXiv:1306.3261


How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative

Author: Dorothea Salo

Abstract: Since Clifford Lynch’s infamous call to arms (2003), academic libraries have been wasting their time trying to change the scholarly communication system on the feeblest of rationalizations. Proper librarians know that the current system is obviously the most sustainable, since it’s lasted this long and provided so much benefit to libraries (Rogers, 2012a) and profit to organizations as diverse as Elsevier, Nature Publishing Group, and the American Chemical Society, as well as their CEOs (Berrett, 2012). Moreover, faculty have proclaimed loudly and clearly that they believe libraries’ central role is to be the campus’s collective knowledge wallet (Schonfeld & Housewright, 2010; Lucky, 2012), so who are librarians to argue?

Citation: Salo, D., (2013). How to Scuttle a Scholarly Communication Initiative. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 1(4), p.eP1075. DOI: