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NISO Releases Altmetrics Definitions and Use Cases for Public Comment

Second out of three draft recommendations from the NISO Altmetrics Initiative is now available for input from stakeholders
Baltimore, MD - March 22, 2016 - The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) seeks comments on the draft Altmetrics Definitions and Use Cases document, NISO RP-25-201X-1. The draft is an output of the NISO Altmetrics Initiative, a two-phase project aiming to address limitations and gaps that may hinder the adoption of altmetrics, an expansion of tools available for measuring scholarly impact of research in the knowledge environment. Draft output from one NISO altmetrics working group studying data quality was released for comment earlier this month, and further draft outputs from a third working group addressing specific output types, including data metrics and use of persistent identifiers, will be released soon.

"The Definitions and Use Cases document is short, but encapsulates the many discussions the working group held to review and hash out definitions from many diverse sources of information in the altmetrics field," remarks Robin Chin Roemer, Instructional Design & Outreach Services Librarian at the University of Washington Libraries, and co-chair of Working Group A (Definitions & Use Cases), the group that developed this document. "We also include a statement about the role that alternative assessment metrics plays in research evaluation, to help place the document in context and advise on altmetrics' possible applications."

"Use cases for altmetrics are driven by different stakeholders in the research ecosystem," adds Michael Habib, a consultant working in scholarly communication, publishing, and library markets and co-chair of Working Group A (Definitions & Use Cases). "The NISO document means to highlight the different ways in which the stakeholders collect, develop, and consume altmetrics, and to explain and contextualize commonalities between stakeholders' needs, goals, and usages."

"Members of the working group and NISO are interested in receiving wide feedback on this draft document, to be incorporated into the final version to be published by NISO later this spring," comments Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Director for Programs. "Working Group A's output lies the groundwork for the other two working groups in that the definition of terms used allows different stakeholders in this space to understand when they are talking about the same thing. In addition, the development of use cases and their relationship to stakeholder groups clarifies requirements and priorities for further development."

The draft Recommended Practice is open for public comments through April 20, 2016. To download the draft or submit online comments, visit the NISO Altmetrics Initiative web page at

About NISO
NISO, based in Baltimore, Maryland, fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of information standards. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, visit the NISO website.