altmetrics17. The dependencies of altmetrics

The 2017 Altmetrics Workshop

Toronto • 26 September 2017


About the Workshop

altmetrics17 is part of the altmetrics workshop series organized since 2011. The altmetrics17 workshop will take place on 26 September 2017 in Toronto, Canada. Following the successful conjunction of altmetrics15 and altmetrics16 with the Altmetrics Conference, altmetrics17 will again be co-organized with the 4th Altmetrics Conference 4:AM, hosted by The Social Media Lab at Ryerson University.

This year’s workshop will focus on the dependencies of altmetrics, including the role of data providers and aggregators and the technical affordances of underlying platforms. Altmetrics are heavily shaped, if not completely driven, by data and thus by specific data providers. What constitutes altmetrics today is dependent on the availability and access to data that traces the online visibility of scholarly output and researchers. For example, most altmetrics are tracked mostly for documents with a DOI creating particular biases in terms of disciplines, journals and countries, where DOIs are not common. Mentions in policy documents are tracked only if full texts are easily accessible online and their references are clearly formatted (e.g. by including DOIs or other document identifiers). On the other hand, although enjoying particularly high uptake among scholars, ResearchGate activity is not considered as a basis for altmetrics, as this platform does not provide access to data. Moreover, technical affordances of underlying platforms such as, for example, Twitter’s 140-character restriction, the Mendeley Web Importer or F1000Prime’s rating system, all shape acts underlying altmetric counts. Finally, the dependency on and influence of for-profit companies like Twitter and Facebook or publishing houses like MacMillan and Elsevier are a concern for altmetrics research and altmetrics applications alike.
Against this background, the altmetrics17 workshop will have a special focus on the dependencies of altmetrics and their potential effects on altmetric research, the role of altmetrics in research evaluation and the effects on scholarly communication in general. It particularly invites contributions that address the workshop’s theme directly or indirectly, analyze effects of the dependencies, and propose solutions and alternative frameworks in which to study altmetrics.


Opening (9:45-10:00)

Session 1: Altmetrics case studies and applications

discussion about case studies

coffee break (11:00-11:15)

Session 2: Users behind social media data

discussion about users 

lunch (12:20-13:20)

Session 3: Data Providers, Data Quality and Indicators 

discussion about data providers, data quality and indicators 

coffee break (15:35-16:00)

Session 4: Conceptual discussions and frameworks

conceptual discussions

Closing (17:00-17:30)

Download the program.

Further information

There will be WiFi at the workshop venue.

WiFi Hub is : RU-Secure
Username: ptfaculty
Pwd: issued daily (we will let you know on Tuesday)

Get together on Tuesday: Please join us for drinks (not included in the workshop fee) at 6pm at Elephant & Castle (378 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1S6,


Following the format of the previous workshops, we hope to make altmetrics17 a platform for active discussions and exchange among researchers and practitioners to reflect upon current and future challenges of altmetrics. The workshop will thus focus on providing the basis for dynamic discussions among participants. To foster active participation, prospective workshop participants are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract highlighting a topic and research questions they would like to address 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.

Call for contributions

We are soliciting empirical and theoretical contributions for short presentations and as a basis for discussions, which will be the main focus of the altmetrics17 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 original research artifacts and focusing on the theme of this year’s workshop. 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.).

Contributions should be submitted by 7 August 2017 and will be curated by the altmetrics17 committee for their relevance and technical soundness.

Accepted contributions will be made available on the workshop website by 31 August 2017. A limited number of contributions will be selected for short presentations. Notifications to authors of submissions shortlisted for presentations will be sent by 28 August 2017. All selected authors have to register for the workshop and will be given preference in the registration process.

Important dates

7 June 2017: call for contributions
7 August 2017: submission deadline
28 August 2017: notification of acceptance
26 September 2017: altmetrics17 workshop


Please register here for the workshop (open until all seats are taken): altmetrics17


The workshop is co-organized with the 4th Altmetrics Conference (4:AM) and will take place on 26 September 2017 at

Ryerson University Student Learning Centre (SLC) | Room 508 (5th floor, 341 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M5B 1S1, Canada)

More information regarding travel and accommodation can be found here.