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Author: Richard Naples

Richard works in the Digital Services Division of the Smithsonian Libraries and helps to manage data for Research Online, the bibliography and repository for scholarly output at the Smithsonian Institution.

Altmetrics: the cat’s meow?

at least kitty has nine lives

This past week, you might have noticed the many news stories about killer cats. The research study about domestic cats’ impact on nature concluded that cats kill up to 3.7 billion birds and 20.7 billion mammals every year. Did you happen to pick up that the senior author on the paper was Peter Marra of the Migratory Bird Center, a research unit of the National Zoo, and one of his cowriters was Scott Loss, also of the MBC? While we are always excited by and proud of the research output of the Smithsonian, this is an example of a scholarly article having an impact in the public sphere—i.e. beyond just the scientific community. Does that matter? How does it matter? Is there a way for the organization sponsoring that research to measure impact of research output like this? These are the kinds of questions we can finally begin to tackle with the use of altmetrics.

Spotlight on Open Access at the Smithsonian Libraries


Founder James Smithson
Founder James Smithson

James Smithson bequeathed his fortune to the people of the United States with the clear impetus for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge.” The Smithsonian Libraries takes that message to heart by striving to connect ideas and information to you, and all whom we serve. Consider this an overview of Open Access (with capital O and A) and open access (lowercase o & a) here at the Libraries. Long story short: if you have access to the internet, you have access to an increasing number of quality, peer-reviewed journals and scholarly publications (as long as you know where to look).

2013 Seed Catalogues Calendar

The 2013 Seed Catalogues Calendar

Today’s post was written by Martin Kalfatovic, Associate Director of the Smithsonian Libraries and Program Director of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Did you ever wonder about some of those fabulous items that you see in the Smithsonian gift shops when you’ve visited the Smithsonian in person? Or maybe you’ve done some online browsing at the Smithsonian Store online? Perhaps it’s likely that you’ve run across Smithsonian collections-based gifts in your favorite store, too?

Wikipedia Loves Libraries: Backstage at Smithsonian Libraries

Wikipedia LogoWikipedia is coming for a visit! On Friday, October 12, the Libraries, in cooperation with other Smithsonian units, will welcome local Wikipedia editors for a day full of creating and editing articles using Smithsonian Libraries resources. With American Archives Month, National Book Month, and Open Access Week, October lends itself to an event for Wikipedia Loves Libraries. In its second year, Wikipedia Loves Libraries is a campaign to bring Wikipedia and libraries together with on-site events, and help build lasting relationships between libraries and their local Wikipedian community. If you edit Wikipedia or want to learn how, we would love for you to come! Check out the Wikipedia Meetup page for more info.

Smithsonian Research Online

Here’s another in our series, Library Hacks, where we take a look at cool and interesting online resources from the Smithsonian Libraries and the cyberworld at large.

Readers of this blog have probably figured out that the Smithsonian is more than a set of museums – it’s also a hub for research. In 2011 alone, Smithsonian researchers published more than 2000 articles, books, and book chapters. Given the Institution’s 165 year history, the cumulative knowledge output of the Smithsonian Institution located in one place is quite the extensive resource.