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Altmetrics in Higher Education Institutions: Three Case Studies
  • Natalia Madjarevic,
  • Fran Davies
Natalia Madjarevic

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Fran Davies
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This paper presents three case studies describing the use of altmetrics across three research-intensive higher education institutions in the UK and USA. We conduct interviews to learn more about how altmetrics are applied by various teams in a university, with a particular focus on the use of tools built by Altmetric, including the Altmetric for Institutions platform. We interviewed a Research Support Services Librarian, Head of Research Information and a Principal Investigator. This is an exploratory study that seeks to find out more about the general awareness, application and potential for using altmetrics across a range of university departments. We identify exemplar use cases for wider adoption in institutions and uncover future potential use cases. The findings of this study are that although use of altmetrics is at a relatively early stage when compared to traditional bibliometrics, a number of professional groups are using the tools and underlying qualitative data to enhance existing processes. This includes monitoring attention to research papers in previously difficult to track sources, reporting to funders, inclusion in grant applications and offering alongside existing bibliometrics services. Potential limitations of the study are the focus on a small sample size in three large institutions and the use of a single tool. Interviewing a range of researchers across a number of institutions in order to highlight further altmetric use cases would develop the research further. The following case studies, however, offer a detailed insight into the current applications of altmetrics and Altmetric for Institutions.