Altmetrics, Legacy Scholarship, and Scholarly Legacy

Lauren B. Collister, Ashley L. Taylor

Abstract


When using alternative metrics (altmetrics) to investigate the impact of a scholar’s work, researchers and librarians are typically cautioned that altmetrics will be less useful for older works of scholarship. This is because it is difficult to collect social media and other attention retroactively, and the numbers will be lower if the work was published before social media marketing and promotion were widely accepted in a field. In this article, we argue that altmetrics can provide useful information about older works in the form of documenting renewed attention to past scholarship as part of a scholar’s legacy. Using the altmetrics profile of the late Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, often referred to as “the father of modern transplantation”, we describe two cases where altmetrics provided information about renewed interest in his works: a controversy about race and genetics that shows the ongoing impact of a particular work, and posthumous remembrances by colleagues which reveal his scholarly legacy.


Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/palrap.2017.154

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.