Altmetrics and the changing societal needs of research communicators at R&D centres in an emerging country: A case study of India

The 2015 Altmetrics Workshop
Amsterdam, 9 October 2015

Anup Kumar Das


Altmetrics necessitates changing research communications strategies at research departments in universities and R&D centres in emerging countries. However, there is a lack of specialization or professionalization in managing and formulating research communications strategies in those research centres. This makes those R&D centres less compatible to global outreach. Research papers emanated from these R&D centres and departments don’t get adequate international visibility, attention or recognition due to lack of planning and strategic approaches by the policymakers and institutional decision makers. Research communications should also embrace the specialization available in the research department. For example, the services of documentation officers, research officers and information scientists available at the research departments in Indian universities can be adequately utilized for strategic planning and increasing institutional outreach to global scholarly audiences. They can be trained and made custodian of the research communications channels freely available online such as academic social networks, institutional repositories, open data repositories, and electronic discussion forums. There is also need of creating a rank of specialized personnel for managing institutional research communications channels. However, in many developing countries, including in India, the R&D centres and research departments are in public sector and they need to take proactive role. Thus, every R&D centre and research department should think of engaging the information specialists or re-designating their research librarians (e.g., documentation officers, research officers and information scientists) for managing their research communications channels. This paper will highlight a model institutional research communications strategy to increase global visibility of the institutional research. This paper will also cite a case where strategic use of research communications channels in an Indian institution bears the fruits of higher altmetric scores and global visibility of institutional researches.