NISO Issues Altmetrics White Paper Draft for Comment

Eva Jurczyk eva.a.jurczyk at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 10 09:06:55 EDT 2014

Apologies for cross-posting. The National Information Standards
Organization(NISO) has released their Altmetrics White Paper Draft for
comment and it may be of interest to some on this list.


Eva Jurczyk, MI

Research Evaluation Coordinator | Office of the Vice Dean Research and
International Relations Faculty of Medicine | University of Toronto
Medical Sciences Building

1 Kings College Circle, Rm #2115B

t: 416-978-6013 | f: 416-978-5568

e: eva.jurczyk at

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From: LIBLICENSE <liblicense at>

Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Subject: NISO Issues Altmetrics White Paper Draft for Comment


From: NISO <niso-announce at>

Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2014 14:11:26 -0400

NISO Issues Altmetrics White Paper Draft for Comment

Paper summarizes community input to development of potential standards
and recommended practices for research assessment metrics

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has released a
draft white paper summarizing Phase I of its Alternative Assessment
Metrics (Altmetrics) Project for public comment. The Initiative was
launched in July 2013, with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation, to study, propose, and develop community-based standards
or recommended practices for alternative metrics. In Phase 1 of the
project, three in-person meetings were held and 30 in-person
interviews conducted to collect input from all relevant stakeholders,
including researchers, librarians, university administrators,
scientific research funders, and publishers. The draft white paper is
the summary of the findings from those meetings and interviews, along
with the identification of potential action items for further work in
Phase II of the project.

“Citation reference counts and the Journal Impact Factor have
historically been the main metric used to assess the quality and
usefulness of scholarship,” explains Martin Fenner, Technical Lead
Article-Level Metrics for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and
consultant to NISO for the project. “While citations will remain an
important component of research assessment, this metric alone does not
effectively measure the expanded scope of forms of scholarly
communication and newer methods of online reader behavior, network
interactions with content, and social media. A movement around the use
of alternative metrics, sometimes called ‘altmetrics,’ has grown to
address the limitations of the traditional measures. With any new
methodology, however, issues arise due to the lack of standards or
best practices as stakeholders experiment with different approaches
and use different definitions for similar concepts. NISO’s Altmetrics
project gathered together the variety of stakeholders in this arena to
better understand the issues, obtain their input on what issues could
best be addressed with standards or recommended practices, and
prioritize the potential actions. This white paper organizes and
summarizes the valuable feedback obtained from over 400 participants
in the project and identifies a road forward for Phase II of the

“More than 250 ideas were generated by participants in the meetings
and interviews,” states Todd Carpenter, NISO Executive Director. “We
were able to condense these to 25 action items in nine categories:

definitions, research outputs, discovery, research evaluation, data
quality and gaming, grouping and aggregation, context, stakeholders’

perspectives, and adoption. The highest priority items focused on
unique identifiers for scholarly works and for contributors, standards
for usage statistics in the form of views and downloads, and building
of infrastructure rather than detailed metrics analysis. We are now
soliciting feedback on the draft white paper from the wider community
prior to its completion. The white paper will then be used as the
basis for Phase II: the development of one or more of the proposed
standards and recommended practices.”

The White Paper is open for public comment through July 18, 2014. It
is available with a link to an online commenting form on the NISO
Altmetrics Project webpage
( ), along with the
detailed output documents and recordings from each of the meetings and
related information resources.

Cynthia Hodgson

Technical Editor / Consultant

National Information Standards Organization chodgson at

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