The Failure of Altmetrics

November 12th 2014 @ 12:00pm

Cassidy Sugimoto, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science
School of Informatics and Computing


In this talk, Cassidy Sugimoto argues that altmetrics have failed to deliver on their promise. She discusses criticisms of altmetrics (including those dealing with validity and reliability issues), but argues that the largest failure of altmetrics has been the focus on a single genre—that is, the journal article—and setting altmetrics up as an alternative to citations. Sugimoto introduces the notion of outcomes-based evaluation and demonstrates that altmetrics cannot be equated with outcomes in this model. She urges the community to rethink ways in which we can build metrics that can capture larger societal impact. She discusses four axes of potential impact: production, dissemination, engagement, assessment. In each of these, she reviews various examples of current initiatives and challenges the audience to conceive of possible metrics to capture the desired outcome in each scenario.


This lecture is part of the ongoing Digital Library Brown Bag Series. Follow and contribute to the presentations and discussions on twitter: #dlbb.


Fall 2014 Digital Library Brown Bag Schedule

Programs will be held from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST in the Herman B Wells Library in Rooms E174 and E159 (Hazelbaker Hall in the Scholars' Commons).


Remote Access to the Brown Bag

This semester's Digital Library Brown Bag series will be available for remote access via the Web, unless otherwise specified. Anyone may log in; you do not need to be an IU affiliate.


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Contact Info

Wells Library W501
1320 East Tenth Street
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
Michelle Dalmau
Michelle Dalmau - Head, Digital Collections Services, Associate Librarian
(812) 855-1261