Alternative is the New Grey

Jason Priem asked me to give a keynote at the altmetrics12 workshop at Northwestern on 21 June. Unfortunately, the timing of #altmetrics12 isn’t very convenient. I was supposed to be on a plane on my way to #ALA12 in Anaheim. But, I think metrics are important and have written about what SSRN is doing in this space.

I have been anxious this week because I need to submit an abstract by 18 May. There are a lot of interesting things happening in metrics and I’m not sure what I’ll talk about. At first, I thought I would discuss the importance of being succinct and not using tools just because you can (e.g, Prezi vs Powerpoint) but that doesn’t seem very exciting. And the stuff happening in altmetrics is pretty exciting.

A few days ago I was interviewed at the American Anthropological Association and I said, referring to grey literature, that Grey is the New Black. I explained how my publisher friends used to ask me why anyone would want grey literature or if I thought there really was any value in it. Heck, it wasn’t peer reviewed, printed and distributed … several months to years after it had been written. I see altmetrics as being a lot like working papers 20 years ago. Maybe we should call them grey metrics …

It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but I know what I’m going to talk about 🙂