(12 May 2017) The question is posed by, Aaron Tay, Library Analytics Manager at Singapore Management University.
Writing in his musingsinlibrarianship blog he posits that while bibliometrics and altmetrics tend to be used to measure the impact of articles/items produced by users in terms of cites or altmetrics, is it possible to flip this around to look at what users are citing/using (as measured by altmetrics) to determine usage? Is it better to measure by citations from all users to the resource, or citations from only your users to the resource? The latter takes into account local conditions e.g. Nature might be well cited globally but your institution might have no hard sciences lecturers. In many cases the former, as can be seen, is much easier to obtain as the nature of some altmetrics (e.g. tweets) makes tracking the user’s institutional affiliation difficult.
In his profusely illustrated post, Tay considers using citations from traditional citation indexes like Scopus, to more unconventional sources like Open Citations, datasets and various altmetrics (reference managers, social media etc).
He also considers two alternatives to EZproxy for handling authentication – OpenAthens and RemoteXs – to see if they provide easier/better usage analytics. On the down side, compared to EZproxy, you don’t get any data from OpenAthens once past the authentication login. Neither do you get downloads. RemoteXs, however, ‘handles this aspect beautifully. It has extremely rich usage data captured in the analytical dashboards.’
Tay concludes that the appetite for data and analytics is growing as evidenced by new services and tools. Using traditional metrics or altmetrics to measure use of resources by users seems to be possible in some cases, but in others it may not add additional signals.
Read Aaron Tay’s full article on his musingsaboutlibrarianship.blog.