Social media metrics for IUScholarWorks content now available

An example altmetric.com report for content hosted on IUScholarWorks
An example report of altmetrics related to Jason Baird Jackson’s “Anthropology of/in Circulation: The Future of Open Access and Scholarly Societies,” uploaded to IUScholarWorks

For those who want to track metrics for the broader impact of the scholarship they’ve uploaded to the IUScholarWorks repository, we are pleased to announce that altmetrics badges and reports (powered by Altmetric.com) are now available, in addition to usage statistics.

Altmetrics are  social media metrics related to any scholarly output–a journal article, a data set, a working paper, or even a slide deck presented at a conference. The Altmetric.com service currently reports altmetrics for any scholarly content that has a DOI, Handle, PubMed ID, or ArXiv ID.

How it works

On any item record in our repository to which an Altmetric.com badge has been added, you’ll see the badge appear in the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar, under the “Statistics” section. (See an example here.) Hovering over the badge with your cursor, you can see an abbreviated report of the social media attention that item has received, including tweets, scholarly blog posts, and social bookmarks on services like Mendeley. By clicking on the badge, you’ll be taken to a full report on Altmetric.com, which offers a drill-down view into your social media metrics and demographics of those who have tweeted about your work.

If you already have content on IUScholarWorks to which you want to add a badge, email your collection administrator or the IUScholarWorks team. For new content, you’ll be given the option to add a badge during the deposit process; pay careful attention when filling out information during your next deposit.

Badges are publicly displayed. There is not yet ‘depositor-only’ access to the altmetrics for your repository content. Depositors wishing to privately view altmetrics for their research on IUScholarWorks repository can subscribe to Altmetric.com’s paid service or sign up for a free ImpactStory account. (Full disclosure: I am a recent hire of ImpactStory.)

Not interested in altmetrics? That’s fine, too. Badges are by default hidden on all existing and new deposits. The service is opt-in by design.

Why we have implemented this service

In talking with regular users of our service, we’ve learned that faculty and graduate students are keen to track how their scholarship is being consumed and shared, within the Academy and beyond. This service will allow interested users to do so.

We believe that an altmetrics reporting service will help scholars to better understand the nuances of what it means to be “impactful” in an an increasingly networked research environment. Our service surfaces a greater variety of impact measures, and can help scholars understand and connect with new audiences.

On a final note, it is also important to bear in mind that relevant quantitative measures of impact differ from discipline to discipline, and that altmetrics as currently conceived (and reported by Altmetric.com) may not meet the needs of historians as well as they do for biologists. As the field matures, we expect to support and experiment with emerging services in our repository.

To learn more about Altmetric.com, visit their website. More information about our implementation of altmetrics and usage statistics in the IUScholarWorks repository can be found on our website.

Copyright and IUScholarWorks

So you want to submit a published or unpublished article into IUScholarWorks (IUSW) repository? Here’s what you’ll need to know about copyright.

If you are submitting an unpublished article, no worries – you are the rightsholder, so go ahead and submit it to IUSW. If you are submitting an article that has been previously published, though, you (the author) are probably not the rightsholder. If this is the case, you will need to do a little extra research before depositing into IUSW.

Generally, copyright transfers over to a publisher upon publication of an article, so you will need to check with the publisher prior to depositing it. If you still have your signed publishing agreement this should indicate what your rights are. If you don’t have this document, here are some suggestions to move forward.

  1. Your first step is to search SHERPA/RoMEO, a freely available online database of publisher copyright policies. Simply type in the name of your journal and you should receive information on what you can submit to an institutional repository such as IUSW. (For those new to S/R, this helpful video should clarify the search process and terminology.)
  2. If you cannot find information through SHERPA/RoMEO, you will want to check to see if the journal has a website. If so, copyright information may be located there.
  3. The final way to check copyright of an article is to contact the editor of the journal–not the publisher, which usually oversees many journals. It is helpful for the author of the work in question to write the message. We’ve found that this usually helps expedite the process. You can use a format like this sample letter to the editor. 

After completing these steps, you should now know what exactly can be deposited into IUSW: pre-print, post-print, or the publisher’s version of your article.

One easy way to save yourself this trouble moving forward is to complete the SPARC Author Addendum prior to signing your copyright over to a publisher. This legal document ensures that you keep the rights that you want, including the ability to archive your work in an institutional repository like IUSW. Read about the addendum to determine if it’s right for you!

Open Access, Copyright, Licensing, and IUScholarWorks

When most people hear the term, “open access,” they typically think of information that is freely accessible on the web; however, that only encompasses half of what open access stands for. Open access is not only about being able to obtain information for free, but it is also about being able to reuse that information freely, i.e. how that information is subsequently distributed, linked to, and built upon.

Example of a derivative work.
Example of a derivative work. Retrieved from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ADerivative-work-icon.svg

By default, you, the author, hold the copyright for every new work you create, meaning you alone have the right to distribute and create derivatives from it. The good news is you can waive this right by adding a Creative Commons License to your work, which explains to users what they may or may not do with it. For example, a CC-BY license tells users that they may distribute and create derivative works, as long as they attribute the original work to you.

Adding a Creative Commons license to your work in IUScholarWorks is a simple step. When you submit an item to the repository, you have the opportunity to specify the name of a license in the Rights field during the submission process. Remember, leaving this field blank means the that you reserve all rights to your work!

To learn more about licensing options, check out the Creative Commons website (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/) or contact the IUScholarWorks team.