“When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences

Authors: Lemke Steffen, Mehrazar Maryam, Mazarakis Athanasios, Peters Isabella

Abstract: The Social Sciences have long been struggling with quantitative forms of research assessment—insufficient coverage in prominent citation indices and overall lower citation counts than in STM subject areas have led to a widespread weariness regarding bibliometric evaluations among social scientists. Fueled by the rise of the social web, new hope is often placed on alternative metrics that measure the attention scholarly publications receive online, in particular on social media. But almost a decade after the coining of the term “altmetrics” for this new group of indicators, the uptake of the concept in the Social Sciences still seems to be low. Just like with traditional bibliometric indicators, one central problem hindering the applicability of altmetrics for the Social Sciences is the low coverage of social science publications on the respective data sources—which in the case of altmetrics are the various social media platforms on which interactions with scientific outputs can be measured. Another reason is that social scientists have strong opinions about the usefulness of metrics for research evaluation which may hinder broad acceptance of altmetrics too. We conducted qualitative interviews and online surveys with researchers to identify the concerns which inhibit the use of social media and the utilization of metrics for research evaluation in the Social Sciences. By analyzing the response data from the interviews in conjunction with the response data from the surveys, we identify the key concerns that inhibit social scientists from (1) applying social media for professional purposes and (2) making use of the wide array of metrics available. Our findings show that aspects of time consumption, privacy, dealing with information overload, and prevalent styles of communication are predominant concerns inhibiting Social Science researchers from using social media platforms for their work. Regarding indicators for research impact we identify a widespread lack of knowledge about existing metrics, their methodologies and meanings as a major hindrance for their uptake through social scientists. The results have implications for future developments of scholarly online tools and show that researchers could benefit considerably from additional formal training regarding the correct application and interpretation of metrics.V

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039



Source: Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics

Future of scholarly publishing and scholarly communication

Author: Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission)

Abstract:The report proposes a vision for the future of scholarly communication; it examines the current system -with its strengths and weaknesses- and its main actors. It considers the roles of researchers, research institutions, funders and policymakers, publishers and other service providers, as well as citizens and puts forward recommendations addressed to each of them. The report places researchers and their needs at the centre of the scholarly communication of the future, and considers knowledge and understanding created by researchers as public goods. Current developments, enabled primarily by technology, have resulted into a broadening of types of actors involved in scholarly communication and in some cases the disaggregation of the traditional roles in the system. The report views research evaluation as a keystone for scholarly communication, affecting all actors. Researchers, communities and all organisations, in particular funders, have the possibility of improving the current scholarly communication and publishing system: they should start by bringing changes to the research evaluation system. Collaboration between actors is essential for positive change and to enable innovation in the scholarly communication and publishing system in the future.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039



Source: Publications Office of the European Union

Library publisher resources: Making publishing approachable, sustainable, and values-driven

Authors: Jenny Hoops, Sarah Hare

Abstract: The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) defines library publishing as the “creation, dissemination, and curation of scholarly, creative, and/or educational works” by college and university libraries. While providing a publishing platform, hosting, and services for editorial teams is key to any library publishing initiative, library publishing is also centered on furthering core library values. Thus library publishing activities are mission-driven, centered on education, and focused on finding and promoting sustainable approaches to open access publishing and building cooperative open infrastructure.

Citation: Hoops, J., & Hare, S. (2019). Library publisher resources: Making publishing approachable, sustainable, and values-driven. College & Research Libraries News, 80(2), 74. doi:https://doi.org/10.5860/crln.80.2.74



Source: College & Research Libraries News

ARL-SSRC Meeting on Open Scholarship in the Social Sciences: Summary and Next Steps

Authors: Philip Cohen, Rebecca Kennison, Jason Rhody, Judy Ruttenberg, Virginia Steel, Shan Sutton, Penelope Weber

Abstract: Open scholarship and open research practices are gaining momentum in the social sciences and the academy broadly. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) convened a meeting in December 2018 at a pivotal moment for social science leaders to discuss opportunities and commit to a shared agenda, with tangible next steps, to build on successes to date. By focusing on each participant sector’s distinctive roles, shared values, and objectives with respect to an open scholarly ecosystem, the action- oriented meeting explored how the community can increase access to social science research and ensure that scholars and scholarship thrive in an environment that is “inclusive, equitable, trustworthy, and durable.”

Citation: Cohen, P. et al. “ARL-SSRC Meeting on Open Scholarship in the Social Sciences: Summary and Next Steps.” Association of Research Libraries and Social Science Research Council. January 25, 2019. https://www.arl.org/storage/documents/publications/2019.01.25-arl-ssrc-meeting-on-open-scholarship.pdf

Source: arl.org


What is Open Science, and How Can Radical Collaboration Facilitate It?

Author: Meghan Potterbusch

Abstract: Open science is a multi-faceted movement serving as a goal and a motivation for many stakeholders, from researchers to information professionals and from funders to the general public. Aspects of open science include: open sharing of research materials such as data and code, collaborative research platforms, crowdsourcing platforms, blogs, open peer review, open educational resources, altmetrics, and more. These diverse aspects can be classified into schools of thought and are emphasized by members of various open-focused communities to different degrees (from intense belief to neutral to opposition in some cases). Regardless of the differences in views between diverse communities and differences in aspects or approaches, each of these forms of open science allows for additional levels of understanding, participation, or both by people external to the group producing the science.

Citation: Megan Potterbusch. “What is Open Science, and How Can Radical Collaboration Facilitate It?” Research Library Issues, no. 296 (2018): 44–48. https://doi.org/10.29242/rli.296.6


Source: Research Library Issues

The F3-index. Valuing reviewers for scholarly journals

Authors: Federico Bianchi, Francisco Grimaldo, Flaminio Squazzoni

Abstract: This paper presents an index that measures reviewer contribution to editorial processes of scholarly journals. Following a metaphor of ranking algorithms in sports tournaments, we created an index that considers reviewers on different context-specific dimensions, i.e., report delivery time, the length of the report and the alignment of recommendations to editorial decisions. To test the index, we used a dataset of peer review in a multi-disciplinary journal, including 544 reviewers on 606 submissions in six years. Although limited by sample size, the test showed that the index identifies outstanding contributors and weak performing reviewers efficiently. Our index is flexible, contemplates extensions and could be incorporated into available scholarly journal management tools. It can assist editors in rewarding high performing reviewers and managing editorial turnover.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039




Source: Journal of Informetrics

Online Safety and Academic Scholarship: Exploring Researchers’ Concerns from Ghana

Authors: Kodjo Atiso, Jenna Kammer

Abstract: This paper investigates factors, including fears of cybercrime, that may affect researchers’ willingness to share research in institutional repositories in Ghana.

Qualitative research was conducted to understand more about the experiences of Ghanaian researchers when sharing research in institutional repositories. Interviews were conducted with 25 participants, documents related to policy and infrastructure in Ghana were examined, and observations were held in meetings of information technology committees.

The findings indicate that researchers are specifically concerned about three areas when sharing research online: fraud, plagiarism, and identity theft.

This paper adds to research that examines barriers toward using institutional repositories, and highlights the lack of basic preventative strategies in Ghana—such as training, security, and infrastructure that are commonplace in developed countries.

This study draws on findings from Bossaller and Atiso (2015) that identified fears of cybercrime as one of the major barriers to sharing research online for Ghanaian researchers. While several other studies have found that fear of identity theft or plagiarism are barriers toward sharing work in the institutional repository, this is the first study that looks specifically at the experiences researchers have had with cybercrime to understand this barrier more fully.

Citation: Atiso, K. and Kammer, J., 2019. Online Safety and Academic Scholarship: Exploring Researchers’ Concerns from Ghana. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2263


Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Preprints in Scholarly Communication: Re-Imagining Metrics and Infrastructures

Authors: B. Preedip Balaji, M. Dhanamjaya

Abstract: Digital scholarship and electronic publishing among the scholarly communities are changing when metrics and open infrastructures take centre stage for measuring research impact. In scholarly communication, the growth of preprint repositories over the last three decades as a new model of scholarly publishing has emerged as one of the major developments. As it unfolds, the landscape of scholarly communication is transitioning, as much is being privatized as it is being made open and towards alternative metrics, such as social media attention, author-level, and article-level metrics. Moreover, the granularity of evaluating research impact through new metrics and social media change the objective standards of evaluating research performance. Using preprint repositories as a case study, this article situates them in a scholarly web, examining their salient features, benefits, and futures. Towards scholarly web development and publishing on semantic and social web with open infrastructures, citations, and alternative metrics—how preprints advance building web as data is discussed. We examine that this will viably demonstrate new metrics and in enhancing research publishing tools in scholarly commons facilitating various communities of practice. However, for the preprint repositories to sustain, scholarly communities and funding agencies should support continued investment in open knowledge, alternative metrics development, and open infrastructures in scholarly publishing.

Citation: Balaji BP, Dhanamjaya M. Preprints in Scholarly Communication: Re-Imagining Metrics and Infrastructures. Publications 2019; 7(1):6. DOI: 10.3390/publications7010006




Creating a Library Publishing Program for Scholarly Books: Your Options Are Limited

Author: Kevin Hawkins

Abstract: Publishing programs in academic libraries vary in their scope, offerings, and business models. Despite the many forms that these programs take, I have argued in the past that various factors constrain the design of a start-up publishing operation. In this commentary, I discuss in greater depth the key questions to be addressed before establishing a library publishing program for scholarly books, arguing that the viable options are in fact quite limited.

Citation:   Lemke S, Mehrazar M, Mazarakis A and Peters I (2019) “When You Use Social Media You Are Not Working”: Barriers for the Use of Metrics in Social Sciences. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 3:39. doi: 10.3389/frma.2018.00039



Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly CommunicationS

Open Access and the Graduate Author: A Dissertation Anxiety Manual

Authors: Jill Cirasella and Polly Thistlethwaite

Abstract: The process of completing a dissertation is stressful—deadlines are scary, editing is hard, formatting is tricky, and defending is terrifying. (And, of course, postgraduate employment is often uncertain.) Now that dissertations are deposited and distributed electronically, students must perform yet another anxiety-inducing task: deciding whether they want to make their dissertations immediately open access (OA) or, at universities that require OA, coming to terms with openness. For some students, mostly in the humanities and some of the social sciences, who hope to transform their dissertations into books, OA has become a bogeyman, a supposed saboteur of book contracts and destroyer of careers.

This chapter examines the various access-related anxieties that plague graduate students. It is a kind of diagnostic and statistical manual of dissertation anxieties—a “Dissertation Anxiety Manual,” if you will—describing anxieties surrounding book contracts, book sales, plagiarism, juvenilia, the ambiguity of the term online, and changes in scholarly research and production.

Citation: Cirasella, J., & Thistlethwaite, P. (2017). Open access and the graduate author: A dissertation anxiety manual. In K. L. Smith & K. A. Dickson (Eds.), Open access and the future of scholarly communication: Implementation (pp. 203-224). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Source: CUNY Academic Works