Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


Metrics in Context: A Data Specification For Scholarly Metrics

Grounding this virtual talk

In the times of zoom calls, virtual conferencing, and ubiquitous connectivity, I want to take some time and ground myself and this talk on the unceded[1] lands that I am living, working, and recording on as a visitor. I want to acknowledge the Coast Salish people including the səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Stz'uminus, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) whose lands were stolen but have rights to these lands even today.


Google Scholar, Web of Science, Scopus, Dimensions, Crossref,, ... What used to be the home turf of for-profit publishers has become a buzzing field of technological innovation. Scholarly metrics, not only limited to citations and altmetrics, come from a host of data providers using an even wider range of technologies to capture and disseminate their data. Citations come as closed or open data, using traditional text processing or AI methods by private corporations, research projects or NGOs. What is missing is a language and standard to talk about the provenance of scholarly metrics.

In this lightning talk, I will present an argument why we need to pay more attention to the processes of tracing and patterning that go into the creation of the precious data that determine our academic profiles, influence hiring and promotion decitions, and even national funding strategies. Furthmermore, I present an early prototype of Metrics in Context, a data specification for scholarly metrics implemented in Frictionless Data. Additionally, the benefits and application of Metrics in Context is presented using both traditional citation data and a selection of common altmetrics such as the number of Tweets or FB shares.

[1] "Unceded lands are territories that were never signed away by the Indigenous people who inhabited them before Europeans settled in North America. In other words, this land was stolen. (It's worth noting that territories covered by treaties also weren't necessarily ceded ⁠— in many cases, the intent of the agreements was the sharing of territory, not the relinquishing of rights.)" Source


Photo of Asura Enkhbayar Asura Enkhbayar