21st Nordic Workshop on Bibliometrics and Research Policy

Some months ago EAHIL formed a Special Interest Group on metrics. As I have been curious on the use of altmetrics and promoting a consciousness on metrics all in all for my researchers, I joined the group to get more familiar on the theme. I got a scholarship from SMH to join this conference, and spent three November days in Copenhagen, soaking into the depths of this – for me – new world. Since I think I was the only EAHIL’er attending, I write the blog post in English.

First and foremost I must say the metric people are a really friendly bunch, patiently explaining anything and everything for a newbie! Any misunderstandings in this text are however totally my own!

The conference is designed as a one path event, all attending the same sessions. This is a strength as I see it, as the discussions in the breaks were focused and rich. Quite a few of the presenters were on stage with work in progress, asking for responses and new insights, critiques and comments in a really friendly and helpful atmosphere.

For me the keynote speaker of day 2, David Budtz Pedersen, gave plenty of food for thought. He is Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Humanomics Research Centre, Aalborg University Copenhagen. He was speaking over the theme “Responsible Metrics for Open Human Science”. An abstract can be read here: http://www.communication.aau.dk/research/knowledge_groups/cis/nwb/keynotes/

But I am afraid a mere abstract will not give full credit for the engagement and insight he gave. I really hope to hear him again! If EAHIL has not filled next year’s keynotes yet, it might be an idea to invite him to celebrate our new SIG?

Another presenter giving lots of food for thought was Dr. Thed van Leeuwen talking of Philosophical and theoretical considerations on bibliometric analysis. He belonged at CWTS, Centre for Science and Technology Studies https://www.cwts.nl/ an organization having the slogan “Meaningful metrics”. They sure have a meaningful web site, well worth a visit!

From Helsinki University Library Susanna Nykyri gave a speech on ALTMETRICS@HULIB : Special interest : useful altmetrics for social sciences and humanities? (SSH) : Opportunities and challenges. She focused among several things, on the library using altmetric as a part of the visibility services. She also pointed to the role of metadata such as DOI’s, since the tracking of articles is reliant on identifiers. There are challenges making altmetrics as useful in the SSH field in Finland, due to publication culture, publication channels and research languages.

A bit different, but really eye catching – literally speaking, was a project on eye tracking metrics and what they show. The aim of investigation was to learn more about the impact of posters on knowledge transfer. Using eye-tracking to develop key indicators for posters in national evaluations: Report of the pilot test at STI2016, Valencia  Lorna Wildgaard and Haakon Lund (Royal School of Library and Information Science, University of Copenhagen) (the poster is behind a wall, unfortunately.)

A conference is never successful if one does not arrive home with a pile of “must read”-notes. I will hopefully be working through quite a few articles and book chapters this winter, and at the moment I am reading Professional and Citizen Bibliometrics: Complementarities and ambivalences in the development and use of indicators. A state-of-the-art report. Scientometrics (forthcoming) by Leydesdorff, Wouters and Bornmann 2016 , and I have to take a close look at the book Beyond Bibliometrics : Harnessing Multidimensional Indicators of Scholarly Impact, by B. Cronin and C.R. Sugimoto.

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