QuickWire: Collecting Altmetric Data in China

As more researchers use social media to share and comment on one another’s work, those networks have become rich sources of data for altmetrics—alternative measures that look beyond citation rates and impact factors to get a fuller picture of how scholarship is circulating. But researchers in China can’t share journal articles and papers via Facebook and Twitter, which are blocked there.

Altmetric, one of several services that have sprung up to provide altmetrics to publishers, libraries, and researchers, has a partial solution to the problem. The company is now collecting data from Sina Weibo, “a popular microblogging service of a similar size to Twitter—with half a billion users and some 100 million messages per day,” Euan Adie, founder of Altmetric, said in a blog post announcing the news. “An unscientific study—me eyeballing the data—suggests that the volume of links on Sina Weibo to the scholarly journals we track is between 10 and 20% that of Twitter, putting it in the same league as Google+.”

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