Article Impact (ALM and altmetrics)
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Article Impact (ALM and altmetrics)



Charleston Conference talk on Article-Level Metrics and altmetrics for publishers and librarians.

Charleston Conference talk on Article-Level Metrics and altmetrics for publishers and librarians.



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  • Traditional assessment has focused on the impact factor.
  • Citations are only a small indication of how a research article is used. As you can see from the slide, all PLOS articles have 360k CrossRef citations but the article PDs have been downloaded over 26 million times and the articles have been viewed over 119 million times.
  • PLOS believes that the best way to measure impact in the digital age is at the article level and that’s why each paper that we publish carries a suite of Article-Level Metrics (ALM) that include: usage; citations; social bookmarking and dissemination activity; media and blog coverage; discussion activity and ratings.
  • The PLOS Article-Level Metric project started displaying metrics on PLOS articles over 3 years ago. We started by displaying the HTML views, PDF and XML downloads, citations from a number of sources, blog posts and scientific bookmarking sites. This suite has expanded to include usage stats from PubMed Central, references from Wikipedia, stats from Mendeley and stats from social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • This is a graph of the number of articles covered by source as of last month. We only started tracking Twitter in June of this year and it’s expected that the graph will change a social media sites accrue more mentions to PLOS articles.
  • Because of the data stored in the ALM application, we’re starting to see new usage patterns of scholarly communication. In the past, researchers would talk about papers in the hallway or at conferences, and would later cite a paper in their own publication. With the rapid rise of social media, those conversations are happening other places, such as Twitter, in real-time. These new online tools allow for broader impact of scientific research outside of the research community. Now we can see that a reference on a Wikipedia article could be the first information that a patient sees – which could potentially have massive impact.
  • Through the use of ALMs, we are able to track these new usage patterns. We can start to answer the questions of Who? When? Where? Why? And How?
  • ALMs reveal WHO is using the research. We can identify the users in Twitter and see how the discussions are forming around a research article.
  • ALM reveal WHEN research is discussed. This graph shows a Tweets vs. HTML views with the circle size showing Facebook activity for a collection of articles that PLOS recently published around Big Food.
  • We can also show that tweets dramatically increase the day after an article was published. The orange and red highlighted numbers show the number of tweets for articles published in the Big Food collection
  • ALMs also show HOW articles are used. Normally, article PDF downloads and HTML views trend together. This graph shows some outliers. Getting back to scholarly user vs. a non-scholarly user, we can infer that articles with a high PDF downloads and low HTLM views are likely to be more useful to the research community. And those with high HTML views but low PDF downloads are likely to be more used by the broader community.
  • ALMs can also be used to show where articles are used. This graph geolocates authors of articles. But the same geolocation can be show for Tweets.
  • ALMs provide a context for WHY an article is used. This graph shows the combined HTML views and PDF downloads vs. the number of CrossRef citations for papers published by the University of Cape Town staff with HIV in the title.
  • This Wikipedia entry refers to the PLOS ONE original research for the cute micro chamelion.
  • This tweet stream was investigated by Cameron Neylon. He reached out to the community to find why this paper received a large number of tweets in South Africa. He found that a single Tweet was picked up by a website, Shukumisa, that addressed sexual violence and rape.
  • The Altmetrics movement was started to analyze the social web of metrics. Not just on articles, but on figures, datasets, authors, universities, etc.
  • Several organizations are already collecting your metrics including ImpactStory, Altmetric, Plum Analytics and Science Card.
  • How can you get involved as a publisher? Collect and display ALMs. Show users the analtyics of interest. Use the ALM or ImpactStory open source application in your platform. Join the #altmetics discussions.
  • How can I get involved as a librarian? Collect and track altmetrics for your university and your authors. Tell publishers that you want ALMs. Join the #altmetric discussions
  • Replace?
  • This slides also shows how articles funded by the

Article Impact (ALM and altmetrics) Article Impact (ALM and altmetrics) Presentation Transcript

  • Article Impact Richard Cave, I.T. DirectorCharleston Conference, November 7, 2012
  • Traditional assessment has focused on thejournal 2
  • Citations are only a small indication of howa research article is used 100% 22.3% Article-Level Metrics collected October 10, 2012 for 62,536 PLOS Papers 0.3% 3
  • Article-Level Metrics (ALM) area comprehensive and multi-dimensional suite of transparentand established metrics at thearticle level 4
  • The PLOS Article-Level Metrics project startedin 2009 and tracks usage, citations and socialweb activity for all PLOS articlesUsage Citations Social WebPLOS Journals CrossRef Mendeley(HTML, PDF, XML) Scopus CiteULikePubMed Central Web of Science Facebook(abstract, fulltext,PDF, figures) PubMed Central Twitter Wikipedia Research Blogging PLOS Comments 5
  • 6
  • New usage patterns in scholarly communicatio "Scholarly User" "Broader Impact" PDF Downloads HTML Views PubMed Central PLOS Comments Citations Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia 7
  • ALMs track new usage patterns Who? When? Where? Why? How? 8
  • ALMs reveal “who” is using the research 9
  • ALMs reveal “when” research is discussed 10
  • Number of Tweets about Big Food collection Data collected August 19, 2012. 11
  • ALMs show “how” articles are used PLOS Biology research articles published in 2009. Usage stats from PLOS website. One outlier was excluded. 12
  • ALMs show “where” articles are usedAlzheimer‘s Association funded PLOS articles Geolocation of 410 authors for 84 articles 13
  • ALMs provide context for “why” an article is used 14
  • Wikipedia entry referring PLOS ONE research article 15
  • Tweets from South Africa 16
  • Extending the scope of ALM “Article level metrics are important, yes, but much more important for an Institutional Repository, is the ability to show Author level metrics, and Institution level metrics,” David Palmer, Systems Librarian, Univ of Hong Kong 17
  • Altmetrics is the creation andstudy of new metrics based onthe Social Web foranalyzing, and informingscholarshipAltmetrics Manifesto 18
  • Several organizations are already collectingyour metrics ScienceCard 19
  • Several publishers are already displayingaltmetrics and soon… 20
  • How can I get involved as a publisher?1. Collect and display Article-Level Metrics for the articles you publish2. Attract authors by offering users analytics of interest3. Adapt the ALM or ImpactStory open source application to your needs and integrate it into your publishing platform4. Join the #altmetric discussions 21
  • How can I get involved as a librarian?1. Collect and track altmetrics • For research articles published at your university • For research of interest • Display altmetrics on author bios2. Tell publishers that you want Article-Level metrics for every published research article3. Join the #altmetric discussions 22