Harnessing Altmetric Data for Translational Research & Community Development: A Case Study

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As a land grant university, Virginia Tech has long prioritized cooperative partnerships with regional organizations, delivering translational research to local populations via the work of their Extension Agents and Specialists and the Agriculture Research Education Centers. Librarian Inga Haugen supports faculty and researchers from the Colleges of Natural Resources and Environment and of Agriculture and Life Sciences. These various county-level researchers are tasked with community education and collaboration, ensuring vital information reaches farmers, businesses, and the general public.

Often this research emerges in non-article formats--as blogs and outreach materials, curriculum or rubrics, videos, newsletters, and more. In addition, extension programs foster a commitment to open access research, producing resources intended for reuse and further development. Altmetrics provides Virginia Tech with valuable data about the reach and repurposing of their research, and evidence of broader societal impact beyond traditional, citation-based metrics. This case study shares Haugen’s work with Altmetric Engagement Manager and Librarian Lily Troia to create several distinct user personas related to the extension programs. These personas are viewed as critical component of VT Libraries' Altmetric initiative, targeting workflow integrations in support of educational strategies, and promoting a sustainable exchange of information with the wider community.