Are ALMs/altmetrics propagating global inequality?

Are ALMs/altmetrics propagating global inequality?

Presentation given at the ALM Workshop in San Francisco, October 10-12, 2013

Altmetrics/Article Level Metrics (ALMs) may prove to be a disruptive force in today's scholarly communication landscpae, but scholars in the developing world have little hope of benefiting from their increased prevalence. Like with commerically-controlled citation indexes before them, ALM/altmetrics are highly biased towards those in the global North (both in uptake and in the resulting metrics). Yet, these biases are hardly ever acknowledged and even less frequently taken into consideration. As the ALM/altmerics movements consolidate around a group of stakeholders located exclusively in the global North, the rest of the world will once again be left behind and the rest of the world will be forced play catch-up in a race it has no hope of winning.

In a humble attempt to give scholars in the developing world a chance in this race, the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) is beginning to roll out an implementation of PLOS' ALM application focused on journals in the developing world. The service has the potential to reach thousands of journals using Open Journal Systems and, if successful, can encourage journal editors to stear their journals towards a broader public. The hope is that by starting at the same time as those in the North, and by becoming heavy users, scholars from developing countries will be able to take advantage of the potential ALM/altmetrics offer, as well as shape their development to suit their needs.

The future of scholarly communication needs to be inclusive of diverse local contexts and tailored to address national development goals, not just serve the scientific elite. As I present PKP's new ALM service and the challenges encountered, I challenge you to think outside of your own context and better understand the implications and needs of scholars in the developing world. And to think about how you can shape the future of scholarly communication to serve the development of higher education systems, to foster a research culture that is responsive to social needs, and to provide a platform to those that have traditionally been excluded from scholarly exchange.

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Juan Pablo Alperin

October 11, 2013
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Transcript

  1. Are ALMs/altmetrics propagating global inequality? Juan Pablo Alperin (@juancommander)

  2. [history repeats itself] the first time as tragedy, the second

    as farce “ ” (Marx, 1852; ch. 1) @juancommander
  3. so... you think the is evil? IF You’ve even signed

    @juancommander
  4. see it from MY perspective @juancommander

  5. actually, perspective of the world (% of population that lives

    in low and middle income countries) 82% @juancommander
  6. world according to WoS @juancommander

  7. world according to WoS @juancommander

  8. it has been this way always @juancommander

  9. @juancommander

  10. for citation counts means even on just the technical level

    about what this @juancommander
  11. if you’re from the South, and your public is in

    the South, you are ... http://www.flickr.com/photos/zanehollingsworth/3510211925 @juancommander
  12. but what is worse way way worse @juancommander

  13. it undermines science @juancommander

  14. it undermines development @juancommander

  15. SO WHAT ? @juancommander

  16. SO WHAT does this have to do with ALM/altmetrics? @juancommander

  17. don’t ALM/altmetrics FIX THIS ? @juancommander

  18. Internet penetration @juancommander

  19. facebook penetration @juancommander

  20. facebook penetration of Internet users a more encouraging picture @juancommander

  21. All Exact Location coordinates in the Twitter Decahose 23 October

    2012 to 30 November 2012 http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4366/3654 are you surprised? Twitter is also skewed @juancommander
  22. already showed you WoS Scopus is a little better but

    still not great @juancommander
  23. All Place coordinates in the Twitter Decahose 23 October 2012

    to 30 November 2012 http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4366/3654 Mendeley is perhaps more balanced @juancommander
  24. CrossRef publishers/affiliates and libraries are also not equally distributed @juancommander

  25. CrossRef publishers/affiliates and libraries are also not equally distributed @juancommander

  26. CrossRef publishers/affiliates and libraries are also not equally distributed @juancommander

  27. SO WHAT ? @juancommander

  28. how many of you live or work in a developing

    country? @juancommander
  29. • we risk doing it again! (this time as farce?)

    • revolutionize research assessment and ignore global South • change to new metrics that are still biased towards the North • adapt to new ways of working, leaving the South to catch-up @juancommander
  30. who we serve with OJS @juancommander

  31. launched an ALM giving priority to the developing world using

    @juancommander
  32. launched an ALM giving priority to the small publishers using

    @juancommander
  33. launched an ALM to try to make the culture shift

    INCLUSIVE using @juancommander
  34. launched an ALM to try to avoid the biases of

    the past using @juancommander
  35. launched an ALM to try to teach new ways of

    communicating using @juancommander
  36. launched an ALM to try to teach new ways of

    having impact using @juancommander
  37. SO WHAT is next ? @juancommander

  38. asking all organizations that do advocacy develop tools scholarly publishing

    revolutions or simply care about ALM/ altmetrics @juancommander
  39. to think about about the rest of the world @juancommander

  40. to think about about the of the world most @juancommander

  41. thank you @juancommander