Some thoughts on Altmetrics’ Top 100 Journal Articles of 2016


  1. Gosh, I love good design
  2. There are only five articles that could be considered in the arts and humanities
  3. But all of those are in archaeology / anthropology that make use of scientific methodologies
  4. History, literature, the arts, linguistics, etc are nowhere to be seen
  5. Is that because groundbreaking research in the arts and humanities is published in monographs? And that journal articles are, for the arts and humanities, simply smaller bricks in a larger intellectual edifice?
  6. Or maybe because arts and humanities research get filtered through a broader range of other channels – via more public orientated books, via other institutions (museums, archives, government departments, theatres). Or it gets adapted and reinterpreted before being  dispersed newspapers, the internet, social media?
  7. Or maybe arts and humanities journals don’t feature in Altmetric’s ranking system in the first place?
  8. (Or maybe because … science is just more popular in the public imagination?)
  9. In any case, it’s worrying that an alternative form of metrics, one specifically designed to provide a different type of insight from traditional journal impact factor, is just as unhelpful in measuring the impact of research in the arts and humanities.