Citation analysis in RePEc is very popular among Economists worldwide. So far it is mainly based on citations in reference lists of Journal Articles and Working Papers. But as Social Media are more and more used not only for academic networking, but also for scholarly discussions, an extended impact analysis is up for discussion.
In his latest Blog Entry RePEc member Christian Zimmermann proposes some extensions to the existing RePEc rankings, e.g. the inclusion of Wikipedia or Economics Blogs. In order to get a better understanding of the Community View, Zimmermann started an Online Voting. The results are open for everyone and show so far, that there’s a split within Economists, with one part being open for the inclusion of Social Media for citation analysis, while others are very sceptical.
This shows, that there’s definitely some change going on the scholarly publication landscape in Economics, but so far Social Media are still controversial, when it comes to quality assessment of research papers. Nevertheless there are tools like Altmetrics, who show, that impact analysis goes beyond journal impact factors. And even large research organisations like the Leibniz Association in Germany with it’s research network “Science 2.o” have started to analyse how Social Media are affecting scholarly communication.