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Social Media Metrics in Scholarly Communication: exploring tweets, blogs, likes and other altmetrics

Special issue call for papers from Aslib Journal of Information Management

This special issue, to be published in 2015, is guest edited by Dr. Stefanie Haustein and Dr. Vincent Larivière, University of Montreal, and Dr. Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Indiana University Bloomington.

What is the focus of this special issue?

Social media metrics—commonly coined as “altmetrics”—have been heralded as great democratizers of science, providing broader and timelier indicators of impact than citations. These metrics come from a range of sources, including Twitter, blogs, social reference managers, post-publication peer review, and other social media platforms. Social media metrics have begun to be used as indicators of scientific impact, yet the theoretical foundation, empirical validity, and extent of use of platforms underlying these metrics lack thorough treatment in the literature.

For this special issue, we invite research papers focusing on social media in scholarly communication, which assess opportunities made available by and challenges of the use of various metrics from quantitative, qualitative, and theoretical points of view. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Novel methods of analyzing social media in scholarly communication
  • Evaluation of various new sources of metrics (e.g., tweets, social bookmarking and readership counts, post publication peer review rankings, blog posts, mass media coverage, views and downloads of presentations, datasets, code)
  • Meaning of and differentiation between various social media metrics
  • Challenging or validating the concept of alternative metrics
  • Theoretical and qualitative approaches to classifying and defining social media metrics
  • Best practices and limitations in data collection and cleaning
  • Data accuracy and reproducibility
  • User behavior
  • Gaming or abuse of social media metrics
  • Social media metrics in research evaluation and researchers’ careers
  • Ethics of social media metrics
  • Altmetrics as tools for libraries and publishers
  • Social network analyses and visualizations of social media environments.


Papers should focus on social-media based tools and metrics in the context of scholarly communication. All methodological approaches are welcome. Case studies and proof-of-concept studies should present new and unique findings and highlight future research possibilities and developments. Opinion pieces and review articles will not be considered for the special issue.

Papers should be 4,000 to 9,000 words in length (including references) and in accordance with the journal’s author guidelines.

For all additional information prior to submission, please contact Stefanie Haustein ([email protected]),  Vincent Larivière ([email protected]), or Cassidy R. Sugimoto ([email protected]).

Please submit to Aslib Journal of Information Management using ScholarOne Manuscripts, our online submission and peer review system

About the Journal

Aslib Journal of Information Management (AJIM; previously: Aslib Proceedings, ISSN: 2050-3806) is a peer-reviewed international journal providing key insights into the latest international developments in the research and practice of information management and information science. The journal is the major publication for ASLIB – the Association for Information Management in the United Kingdom - a membership association for people who manage information and knowledge in organisations and the information industry.

Information about the journal can be found at

Schedule dates and submission deadlines

Paper submission: 15 November 2014
Notice of review results: 31 January 2015
Revisions due: 28 February 2015
Publication: Aslib Journal of Information Management, volume 67, issue 4, 2015 (August 2015)