altmetrics15: 5 years in, what do we know?

The 2015 Altmetrics Workshop

Amsterdam • 9 October 2015

The program of the workshop is now available.


About the Workshop

Altmetrics intend to measure impact of scholars and scholarly documents not captured by traditional bibliometrics, which are usually restricted to counting peer-reviewed journal articles and citations within them. The diverse set of altmetrics are mostly derived from social media but sometimes expand to online events that have existed long before the web 2.0 context, such as mainstream news media, policy documents, library holdings and downloads.

Five years after the publication of the altmetrics manifesto, it seems time to take stock of altmetrics, the “study and use of scholarly impact measures based on activity in online tools and environments” (Priem, 2014, p. 266). On the research side, over 200 articles, proceedings papers and book chapters have been published, special issues released and a dedicated PLOS collection established; altmetrics talks, session and keynotes have become an integral part of most library and information science, publishing and bibliometrics conferences and with 1:AM a new conference series devoted to altmetrics has been launched last year. From the perspective of altmetrics use, publishers have started providing metrics based on the volume of tweets, Facebook posts, Mendeley reader counts, etc. on their website to showcase the impact of their journals and papers beyond citations. Universities, funders and research managers have started looking into potential of altmetrics in the evaluation context. Companies have been founded to aggregate and offer various metrics, while organizations like NISO have started initiatives to establish standards in altmetrics.

The majority of altmetrics research focuses on peer-reviewed journal articles and examines their coverage and average event counts on various platforms as well as in how far these correlate with citations. Results point to the fact that metrics are quite heterogeneous and, with the exception of Mendeley readers, apply only to a small share of scientific papers and do not correlate well with citations. The meaning of various altmetrics and the processes behind the particular online events are, however, not yet fully understood and a proper validation as impact indicators is still lacking. Data quality and openness remain of particular concern.

Against this background, we particularly invite contributors and workshop participants to discuss the validity and meaning of social media metrics in scholarly context as well as the sustainable and open access to impact data. The goal of this year’s workshop is to provide a platform to discuss scholarly research related to altmetrics, focusing on lessons learned in the first 5 years since the publication of the manifesto as well as future challenges.

altmetrics15 is a follow-up to the successful altmetrics11, altmetrics12 and altmetrics14 workshops held at previous ACM Web Science conferences (Koblenz, 2011; Evanston, 2012; Bloomington, 2014). It will encourage collaboration and cross-pollination between research and practice, combining academic presentations with group discussions. The workshop is co-organized with the 2nd Altmetrics Conference (2:AM) and will take place on 9 October 2015 at the Amsterdam Science Park.


We hope to make this year’s workshop a platform for active discussions and exchange among altmetrics researchers to reflect upon the past five years of altmetrics and identify and discuss future challenges. The workshop will thus focus on dynamic exchanges among participants regarding altmetrics research topics. To foster active participation, prospective workshop participants are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract highlighting the topic and research questions they would like to discuss during the workshop. Contributions can be based on empirical work and novel datasets as well as theoretical frameworks related to altmetrics. In order to maximize time to exchange ideas and collaborate, not all submissions will be presented. The program committee will select a few key contributions for presentation to spark discussions.


Final program and schedule

Call for contributions

We are soliciting empirical and theoretical contributions for short presentations and as a basis for discussion groups, which will be the main focus of the altmetrics15 workshop. Submissions can focus on empirical analyses, novel theoretical frameworks, original datasets or represent a position paper. The goal of the workshop is to discuss, exchange and foster collaboration on altmetrics between researchers and practitioners. While an abstract is not a requirement to attend the workshop, we strongly encourage prospective participants to submit a contribution to seed the discussions. The organizers will give priority to submissions linking to an original research artifact and focusing on the theme of this year’s workshop (“5 years in, what do we know?”). All accepted submissions will be made available via the workshop website prior to the workshop.

How to submit

Please provide an extended abstract (max 1,000 words) presenting your altmetrics research contribution and highlighting particular issues you would like to discuss with other workshop participants. Abstracts can be submitted via EasyChair. Please include a link to any relevant artifact (e.g., a dataset, plots, slidedeck) you wish to present and discuss, after archiving it via an appropriate repository (e.g., Dryad, figshare, GitHub, SlideShare, etc.).

Important dates

  • Contributions should be submitted by 8 September 2015 via EasyChair and will be curated by the altmetrics15 committee for their relevance and technical soundness.
  • Accepted contributions will be made available on the workshop website by 15 September 2015. A limited number of contributions will be selected for short presentations. Notifications to authors of submissions shortlisted for presentations will be sent by 15 September 2015.
  • The workshop will take place on 9 October 2015 at the Amsterdam Science Park.


The registration for the workshop is now close. For any question, please contact the organizers.


The workshop will be held at the Amsterdam Science Park Congress Center (Google map / directions by car / by public transport. The sessions, group reports and closing will take place in the main Collegezaal. The breakout groups will take place in the other rooms (zaal 1-4). A map of the rooms in the congress centre can be downloaded here.