Routledge Handbooks Online became the first customer of Altmetric for Books this month, meaning book editors, chapter authors and readers can now take advantage of functionality previously only available to scholars working on journal articles.
Altmetric mines the internet for data to help authors, researchers, publishers and funders understand the many ways that research has made an impact on researchers and the general public.
This data is then collated into a number. This number can include citations in public policy documents, Wikipedia pages, research blogs, mainstream media coverage, bookmarks on reference managers like Mendeley, and mentions on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Altmetric for Books uses the ISBN as the unique identifier for a book to track, monitor and collate the online attention surrounding books and individual chapters in order to offer insights for authors, editors and readers to monitor and report on the wider dissemination and influence of their scholarly writing.
Updated in real-time, the data is intended to provide an accurate representation of the current reach, usage, and broader impacts of each book and/or chapter. We’ve been hearing from Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences scholars for quite some time that it’s incredibly difficult to trace the engagement and influence of their books and monographs, and Altmetric for Books will mean that we are able to address that need by exposing more of the attention and engagement that content gets. With the display of Altmetric details on books and chapters, our authors, editors and readers will be find it easier to discover how a book is being received, to get credit for their work, and to better engage with a wider audience.
Here are some of the ways we’re seeing authors put altmetrics data to use:
1. Everything in one place and up to the minute
An eagle’s-eye view of how researchers, journalists and the general public are responding to your research, with live and immediate tracking of citations, mentions on social media and referrals by media outlets for all books and chapters.
2. Showcase your research’s impact
Recognition of important research can take time and some topics are less likely than others to receive immediate online attention, the data given by Altmetric for Books enables comparison with other research published in your field and by your publisher. Searching for new breakthrough topics and trends over time has never been easier.
The Research Excellence Framework has meant that grant funders are keen to receive evidence of broader impacts and the Altmetric data enables authors to find this evidence as it provides an overview of the response to their research and policy impact.
3. Connect with your audience
With Altmetric for Books, authors can now see who has tweeted or blogged about their book or individual chapter instantly – connecting you with a community of researchers outside your own institution and preparing the way for new collaborative research partnerships.
Peter Harris is a Digital Product Manager at Taylor and Francis, responsible for understanding the needs of Routledge Handbooks Online’s users and working with the development team to deliver market-leading products.