Open Access: Redefining Impact

by Rose Petralia

Altmetrics expand our view of what impact looks like, but also of what’s making the impact. This matters because expressions of scholarship are becoming more diverse.
~ J. Priem, D. Taraborelli, P. Groth, & C. Neylon,

In the wake of John Bohannon’s investigation of open-access peer-review practices and its inevitable fallout, we at Evans Library have been planning, thinking, and talking amongst ourselves — about  the state of peer-review and scholarly publication in general, and about open-access publishing and altmetrics in particular.

Redefining Impact, the theme of this year’s upcoming International Open Access Week, is gaining momentum in response to the changing landscape of scholarly publication. According to, no longer is it enough to rely on academic standards such as peer review, h-factor, and journal impact to determine research impact and authority, when so many discussions — including those about interesting new research, ideas, and discoveries — are now happening in non-traditional forums such as blogs, Twitter, Zotero, and Mendeley, among others.

On one hand, less reliance on “tried-and-true” systems of determining impact is a little bit scary, yet on the other, pretty darned exciting. Evans Library will continue to track developments and share what we learn here. For now, please join us in celebrating International Open Access Week by attending a live webinar, Q&A with Open Access Expert Peter Suber in the library on October 23, from 2–4 pm. Find details of this and other events on our website.

As always, if you have questions, Ask a Librarian!

Aikido Impact image by HoangP on Flickr Commons.


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