Reddit AmaJoin us for Euan Adie’s first Reddit Ask Me Anything, at 6pm BST/1pm EST on the 21st of August.

Euan, the founder of
Altmetric, will be live on Reddit to answer all and anything in the session:

Misuse of the Journal Impact Factor and focusing only on citations sucks.

“It’s Impact Factor season in the academic publishing world, with journals getting their latest scores… but while it’s an interesting indicator, journal level stats and looking only at citations only give you part of the picture when it comes to dissemination and impact.

What about patient advocate groups, or engineers, or ER doctors? What about policy makers and standards bodies? They don’t cite work but they may read or use it. Many papers have “impact” in a very real sense that isn’t reflected in the number of citations they then receive.

The field of altmetrics is about looking at a wider variety of indicators – social media, mainstream media, patents, policy documents, download stats – that relate to a wider variety of outputs – datasets and software as well as papers – to supplement peer review and citations. You may have seen the altmetrics manifesto already at altmetrics.org.

I think altmetrics and the changes that they’re helping to drive present a great opportunity over the next few years for scientists to change how they are assessed for tenure, promotion and for grants: choosing what they should be judged on, making metrics their servant not master and democratising the data behind it all.

But should we care about wider impact? Impact definitely isn’t the same thing as quality, is quality all we should be concerned about?

Have you ever been in the situation where you felt it would have been helpful to be able to demonstrate success beyond citations or the IF of the journal you published in?”

If you wish to participate in the Ask me Anything forum, you will need to register with Reddit. Keep an eye on the Altmetric Twitter feed for real-time updates as the session takes place (we’ll be using #askeuan) – and get your questions ready!