Library Technology at the ALA 2016 Annual Conference

ALA 2016 Annual Conference

The ALA 2016 Annual Conference is just about a month away.  The conference covers a myriad of library topics and sorting through the program sessions to find the ones focused on library technology takes effort.  Let us do the work for you.

Here is our list of programs related to library technology.  You’ll find interest groups and sessions on data and metadata, makerspaces, UX, Linked Data, ILS and LMS, websites, mobile apps, emerging technologies, and more.  Committee meetings were not included.

For official descriptions, speakers, and final schedule, please check the conference Full Schedule page.

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Altmetrics: Basics and Resources

Altmetrics are “alternative metrics” to measure the influence and reach of scholarly output on the Web through peer-review counts, influential news sites and blog posts, citation manager bookmarks such as Mendeley, Wikipedia citations, and social media mentions on sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Why understand altmetrics?

Altmetric ScoreAltmetrics go beyond the traditional citation metrics to take into consideration how scholarly output such as journal articles and research datasets are being cited and shared by others on the Web in order to measure influence. They are meant to complement tradition metrics, not replace them.

Altmetrics counts (and scores) are updated much more quickly than traditional citation counts so are especially helpful with “hot topics” getting mainstream attention where citation counts can lag by months and even years.

The Basics

Altmetrics are basically counts of mentions and links to scholarly journals and datasets from reputable news sites (and aggregators) and blogs, peer-reviewed sites, reference managers, and major social media sites.  The company Altmetric uses a weighted score with a Twitter post counting as 1 point, a news article counts 8, a blog is 5, and a Wikipedia link is 3. Sources counting less than 1 point include Facebook and YouTube at 0.25 point and LinkedIn at 0.5.

Wiley added altmetrics to Wiley journal articles in the Wiley Online Library in 2014.  Elsevier added Altmetric scores Scopus in 2012 and to ScienceDirect in a pilot project in late 2013, but in 2015 switched to their own altmetrics system for ScienceDirect and Scopus.

We are seeing altmetrics incorporated into several library products. Two of the most prominent companies, Altmetric and EBSCO’s Plum Analytics, provide altmetrics to vendors for inclusion in services such as discovery tools and institutional repositories.

ProQuest Central Altmetric BadgeIn October 2015, ProQuest announced the addition of Altmetric badges to 360 Link and ProQuest databases.  On the abstract page of some scholarly journal articles in ProQuest databases will be displayed an Altmetric badge with basic details of the article’s reach on the Web.  Users can click through to see the complete details page [Altmetric.com version].

In February of this year ProQuest added altmetrics to its Summon service for free.  Libraries using Summon simply need to turn on the feature.  If available, search results will show an Altmetric score.  Hovering over this button (see below) shows more detailed counts.  Like above, users can click through to see the complete details page.  This same information can be displayed in the right-side preview panel.

Summon Search Results Altmetrics

Plum Analytics’ PlumX Metrics integrates with institutional repositories and categorizes metrics into five separate types:

  1. Usage – clicks, downloads, views, library holdings, video plays
  2. Captures – bookmarks, code forks, favorites, readers, watchers
  3. Mentions – blog posts, comments, reviews, Wikipedia links
  4. Social media – +1s, likes, shares, tweets
  5. Citations – PubMed Central, Scopus, patents

Unlike Altmetric, PlumX does not give a score.  At the bottom of the abstract and information page, PlumX displays a count of these metrics by category with a link to see details.

PlumX Institutional Repository Summary

Impactstory is another service providing altmetrics.  Its focus is on individuals who want to learn the impact of their research output. It’s an open-access website which you can access with an ORCID.

Resources

Here are some great online resources to learn about altmetrics:

Altmetrics: a Manifesto – Definitive post from altmetrics.org.

#altmetrics – Twitter hashtag.

Against the Grain – Link to the article “Altmetrics: Documenting the Story of Research” (2016).

arXiv – Link to the article “Altmetrics in the wild: Using social media to explore scholarly impact” (2012).

Impactstory blog – Link to blog post “4 things every librarian should do with altmetrics” (2014).

Mendeley Altmetrics Group – A group to “discuss new approaches to the assessment of scholarly impact based on new metrics.”

NISO Altmetrics Initiative – Project to create standards and best practices for altmetrics.

Here are some popular books about altmetrics:

Altmetrics by Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt

AltmetricsThis title is actually an issue of Library Technology Reports from ALA Tech Source.  The report “outlines both the promises and major obstacles faced by the field of altmetrics” as well as covers the librarian’s role in providing education and support of altmetrics. Published in 2015.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Altmetrics: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Academics edited by Andy Tattersall

Altmetrics: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Researchers and AcademicsThis forthcoming book gives an overview and the theory behind altmetrics.  It looks at the ways libraries can utilize altmetrics and educate researchers.  To be published in June 2016.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Altmetrics for Information Professionals: Past, Present and Future by Kim Johan Holmberg

Altmetrics for Information Professionals: Past, Present and FutureThis scholarly book looks at key altmetrics research innovations.  It presents the data sources used.  Finally, it looks to the future to determine alternative metric trends.  Published in 2015.

View details and find a place to buy or borrow at Google Books.

Free Articles on Institutional Repositories

Routledge, through - Taylor & Francis Group

Routledge announced that they are offering more than 50 articles for free through Taylor & Francis Online covering institutional repositories.  They are aimed at the scholarly communication librarian and cover the “basics of starting and maintaining an institutional repository, the impact of repositories on the open access movement and publishing, repositories for special collections, and institutional repositories around the world”.

Routledge is pleased to offer the Library & Information Science community free access to a collection of over 50 articles covering the topic of Institutional and Subject Repositories in academic libraries. The articles in this collection cover the basics of starting and maintaining an institutional repository, the impact of repositories on the open access movement and publishing, repositories for special collections, and institutional repositories around the world.

You can access the free articles from the Institutional Repositories & the Digital Library collection at Taylor & Francis Online until September 30, 2016.

Open Educational Resources: Open Access Textbooks

Open Access LogoWe continue our celebration of Open Access Week.

We’ve mentioned open access journals and ebooks which are great for researchers.  But what about the regular student?  The high cost of textbooks can be a financial burden on a student.  The university—and the library in particular—can help.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents and media that are useful for teaching, learning, and assessing as well as for research purposes.  (Wikipedia)

Open educational resources include open access textbooks.  Academic libraries can work with university administration and faculty to develop a policy of creating a repository for open access resources including textbooks.

One notable OER initiative is PDX Open from Portland State University Library.  With support from their university, the library is facilitating the publishing of open access textbooks using their Digital Commons platform from bepress.

The Open Textbook Library provides access to around 200 open textbooks from the Open Library Network of participating academic libraries such as Purdue, University of Arizona, and Virginia Tech.  You can search or browse their collection of complete textbooks.

Here are some great resources to learn about OER:

Follow the conversations on Twitter at #liboer, #oer, and #opentextbooks.

Creating the 21st-Century Academic Library Book Series

Leading the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Strategies for Envisioning and Realizing Preferred Futures Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Innovations That Make a Difference Cutting-Edge Research in Developing the Library of the Future: New Paths for Building Future Services

A new professional book series for academic librarians has been published.  The volumes were edited by Bradford Lee Eden and contain the knowledge and experience of academic librarian contributors.  [Disclosure: I co-wrote a chapter but receive no royalties from the sale.]

The Creating the 21st-Century Academic Library series contains five titles so far:

  1. Leading the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Strategies for Envisioning and Realizing Preferred Futures
  2. Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Innovations That Make a Difference
  3. Cutting-Edge Research in Developing the Library of the Future: New Paths for Building Future Services
  4. Creating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Staff
  5. Partnerships and New Roles in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Collaborating, Embedding, and Cross-Training for the Future

The titles are available as ebooks and print books.

Creating Research Infrastructures in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Conceiving, Funding, and Building New Facilities and Staff Partnerships and New Roles in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Collaborating, Embedding, and Cross-Training for the Future