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Copyright © 2016 by the National Information Standards Organization. Used by permission.


Altmetrics are increasingly being used and discussed as an expansion of the tools available for measuring the scholarly impact of research in the knowledge environment. The NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics Project was begun in July 2013 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to address several areas of limitations and gaps that hinder the broader adoption of altmetrics. This document is one output from this project, intended to help organizations that wish to use altmetrics to ensure their consistent application across the community. “Working Group C” studied and discussed issues of data quality in the altmetrics realm, an essential aspect of evaluation before metrics can be used for research and practical purposes. Additional working group outputs from this initiative in the areas of definitions, use cases, specific output types and use of persistent identifiers will be released soon for public comment.

The Code of Conduct aims to improve the quality of altmetric data by increasing the transparency of data provision and aggregation as well as ensuring replicability and accuracy of online events used to generate altmetrics. It is not concerned with the meaning, validity, or interpretation of indicators derived from that data. Altmetrics are based on online events “derived from activity and engagement between diverse stakeholders and scholarly outputs in the research ecosystem,” as defined in the forthcoming NISO Recommended Practice, Altmetrics Definitions and Use Cases (NISO-RP-25-201X-1).

The following individuals served on the NISO Altmetrics Working Group C, which developed and approved this Recommended Practice: Euan Adie Altmetric; Scott Chamberlain rOpenSci; Tilla Edmunds Thomson Reuters; Martin Fenner DataCite; Gregg Gordon Social Science Research Network (SSRN); Stefanie Haustein (co-chair) Université de Montréal; Kornelia JungeJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.; Stuart Maxwell Scholarly iQ; Angelia Ormiston Johns Hopkins University Press; Maria Stanton American Theological Library Association (ATLA); Greg Tananbaum (co-chair) Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC); Joe Wass Crossref; Zhiwu Xie Virginia Tech University Libraries; Zohreh Zahedi Centre for Science and Technology Studies, University of Leiden