Bucharest 2016 Image

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It’s been a great personal pleasure for me to have worked on the last two sell-out Altmetrics Conferences in London and Amsterdam. Thankfully, in my new role at Digital Science, my relationship with the conference continues!

At 2:AM last year, the organizers heard from many people desperate to host this year’s conference, and we’re delighted that 3:AM will be heading to South-East Europe in September. This year, the conference organizers will be making the short flight from London to Romania, where we’ll be welcoming speakers on a number of topics.

We’ve seen that the field of altmetrics is growing in its stature amongst the academic community. Funders and institutions are becoming more aware of the need to understanding the social impact of research. This thirst for knowledge has certainly been reflected in the growing number of submissions to the conference! This year, the committee has focussed on reflecting this increased status, as well as restructuring some of the sessions to make sure we hear from a diverse audience.

The European Commission (EC) has recently set up its Altmetrics Expert Group, and we’re delighted to announce that Dr Rene von Schomberg of the EC will be giving our keynote address on Thursday. In a related panel, Professor Isabella Peters – one of the members of the Expert Group – will be leading a panel on Open Science.

This years conference has a strong international theme: we have speakers from all around Europe, Zimbabwe, Ukraine, Russia, Singapore, Japan and the USA. We have one panel that is looking at Altmetrics around the World, and another looking at specific challenges facing research evaluation in Eastern Europe.

There has been a recent initiative to start looking at metrics and altmetrics for research software – a long neglected research output. Now that datasets have been recognized by many organizations as primary research outputs, what will follow? One of the key movers in this area, Daniel S Katz of the NCSA, will be talking about the importance of extending recognition of software.

A new feature for the conference this year are the lightning talks – we’ve got two sessions for five minute talks, which should provide some lively engagement. Finally, we’re going to wrap up the event with a debate on the future of altmetrics.

You can find more about the schedule on the Altmetric Conference website. You’ll see that there are two related events in the same venue – the Altmetrics 16 academic workshop takes place on September 27th, and the traditional hackday event will take part on the Friday.

If you haven’t been to Romania before, you’re going to have a real treat. Bucharest has flights to all European hubs, and it’s a city of great architecture and friendly people – late September is going to be warm and pleasant – we look forward to seeing you!

You will be able to follow conversations around the conference on the #3amconf hashtag and by following the conference on Twitter @3AMconf.

Follow Mike Taylor – @herrison

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