Disentangling the meaning of ‘altmetrics’: content analysis of Web of Science scientific publications Rodrigo Costas, Zohreh Zahedi & Paul Wouters Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS-Leiden University) 23 June 2014
Introduction • Altmetrics: new way of expanding the analysis of ‘impact’ of scientific products • Weak correlations with citations have been observed (Haustein et al, 2014; Costas et al, 2014) • If they don’t capture the same concept of impact as citations, then, • What kind of impact do altmetrics capture? • Content analysis of publications with altmetrics (vs. publications with citation impact)
Research questions • Two main research questions: • What disciplines have a higher density of altmetrics(vs. citations)? • Which terms (topics) have a higher density of altmetrics (vs. citations)?
Methodology • Same WoSpublications (matched by DOI with Altmetric.com indicators) as in Costas et al (2014): half 2011, articles & reviews • 500,229 WoS publications, citations up to 2012 • Degree of ‘citedness’ or ‘altmetricness’ by • Disciplines (Subject Categories) • Topics (terms in the titles)
Conclusions & further research • Disciplinary analysis: • Citations: stronger presence in fields like chemistry, physics or biomedical sciences • Altmetrics: stronger presence in the multidisciplinary journals, general medicine & health and psychological and social sciences. • Term map • Citations: stronger presence of terms related with natural sciences and more technical topics • Altmetrics: stronger focus on social/laymen and medical-related terms, and less frequent among chemical and physical terms. • Citations: all topics, but also complex & technical ones. Altmetrics: not very technical/complex topics, more social & laymen ones. • Further research • More elaborated linguistic analysis to further explore the hypothesis: are laymen terms more prone to altmetrics? • Better categorization of terms (e.g. with MeSH) in order to delve into the differences on the thematic orientation of citations and altmetrics.
References • Costas, R., Zahedi, Z., & Wouters, P. (2014). Do “altmetrics” correlate with citations? Extensive comparison of altmetric indicators with citations from a multidisciplinary perspective (p. 30). Leiden. Retrieved from http://www.cwts.nl/pdf/CWTS-WP-2014-001.pdf • Haustein, S., Peters, I., Sugimoto, C. R., Thelwall, M., & Larivière, V. (2014). Tweeting Biomedicine : An Analysis of Tweets and Citations in the Biomedical Literature. Journal of the Association for Information Sciences and Technology, 65(4), 656–669. doi:10.1002/asi
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