I’ve come across many journals (and particularly many talking about Altmetrics1,2) that are supporting the old refback infrastructure and wonder why they haven’t upgraded to implement the more feature rich webmention specification?

I’ve been thinking more lately about how to create a full stack IndieWeb infrastructure to replace the major portions of the academic journal ecosystem which would allow researchers to own their academic papers but still handle some of the discovery piece. Yesterday’s release of indieweb.xyz, which supports categories, reminds me that I’d had an idea a while back that something like IndieNews’ structure could be modified to create a syndication point that could act as an online journal/pre-print server infrastructure for discovery purposes.

A little birdie has told me that there’s about to be a refback renaissance to match the one currently happening with webrings.


Akers KG. Introducing altmetrics to the Journal of the Medical Library Association. Journal of the Medical Library Association. http://jmla.mlanet.org/ojs/jmla/article/view/250/403. Published July 3, 2017. Accessed July 2, 2018.
Roemer RC, Borchardt R. Chapter 2. Major Altmetrics Tools. ALA Tech Source. https://journals.ala.org/index.php/ltr/article/view/5746/7187. Published July 1, 2015. Accessed July 2, 2018.
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