Alt-metrics: Studying buzz around academic articles

I had a good old moan about citations a couple of weeks back, about how I found all citation software completely useless. Today I found a really interesting article on a new type of citation.

Alt-metrics is basically an idea to study citations of scholarly articles on social sites, scholarly blogs and bookmarking services. The idea is not to replace the system of peer review, but to measure the buzz around scholarly articles in a much faster and wide ranging way. By looking at links and discussion of articles on blog and on Twitter, we could determine the influence a particular article has. This would happen very quickly compared to current systems which count how many times an article has been cited. It could years before an article is cited. Alt-metrics however is not seeking to replace the old system, but simply to augment it by providing an extra measure of the impact an article has.

I would find this really interesting and useful, to determine what sort of impact a particular article has - it shows how influential it has been. I also think this sort of data could be mashed up to provide important meta data around a subject. The article describes a system wherein a researcher could subscribe to a feed of this week’s most significant work. A bloody fantastic idea, as far as I'm concerned - I would definitely use this.

I'm going to keep a close eye on this, and there's some good links at the bottom of the article that I'm going to dive into.

PS. a big tip of the hat to my lecturer, Rich Boakes, who linked to this on his delicious feed.