[Oa-italia] Article-level metrics at PLoS – addition of usage data

Susanna Mornati mornati a cilea.it
Ven 18 Set 2009 09:28:35 CEST

Riporto il post di Mark Patterson che ci aggiorna 
sulle politiche di PLoS riguardanti le metriche.
Per approfondimenti rimando alla presentazione di 
Peter Binfield "PLoS One: background, future 
development, and article-level metrics" 
pubblicata negli atti di ELPUB 2009: 

L'impatto che il diffondersi di nuove metriche 
puo' avere sull'Open Access e' enorme, non solo a 
mio avviso. Solo la massima disponibilita' in 
rete della letteratura puo' garantire la 
diffusione necessaria a migliorarne le 
performance. Un quadro in un museo aperto al 
pubblico avra' molte piu' chances di essere visto 
(e giudicato) rispetto ad un quadro di una 
collezione privata dove questa possibilita' e' 
data a pochi eletti (nel caso delle riviste, agli abbonati).

Susanna Mornati


Article-level metrics at PLoS – addition of usage data

Submitted by Mark Patterson on Wed, 2009-09-16 11:10.

As part of our ongoing article-level metrics 
program, we’re delighted to announce that all 
seven PLoS journals will now provide online usage 
data for published articles. With this addition, 
the suite of metrics on PLoS articles now 
includes measures of: online usage; citations 
from the scholarly literature; social bookmarks; 
blog coverage; and the Comments, Notes and ‘Star’ 
ratings that have been made on the article.

As <http://www.plos.org/cms/node/478>discussed 
recently, we at PLoS feel that there is much to 
be gained from assessing research articles on 
their own merits rather than on the basis of the 
journal (and its impact factor) where the work 
happens to be published. Until recently, however, 
readers have simply not had suitable tools to 
give them any indication of the quality (or 
‘impact’) of an individual article. With the 
advent of online publishing and a burgeoning 
array of third parties providing information on 
scholarly articles, it has finally become 
feasible to provide meaningful article-level 
metrics and indicators for readers.

PLoS has therefore embarked on a program to 
aggregate a range of available data about an 
article and place that data on the article 
itself. The data are found on the new tab called 
‘Metrics’, available on all articles. A reader 
can now scan the various metrics to determine the 
extent to which the article has been viewed, 
cited, covered in the media and so forth. With 
the addition of usage data to the article-level 
metrics we have taken another step towards 
providing the community with valuable data that 
can be used and analyzed. In order to make 
article-level metrics as open and useful as 
possible, we are providing our entire dataset as 
a downloadable 
and we encourage interested researchers to 
download the data and perform their own analyses. 
We will be updating this spreadsheet 
periodically, but on launch the data it contains 
are correct up to July 31st, 2009. Future 
developments in our article-level metrics program 
will include the provision of more data for each 
metric (whenever we can locate high quality 
sources) and new indicators as they arise, as 
well as the development of more sophisticated 
display and analysis tools on the site itself.

We believe that article-level metrics represent 
an important development for scholarly 
publishing. While some publishers are providing 
limited data, we are not aware of any publisher 
that has gone as far as PLoS in providing such a 
broad range of indicators and metrics, and in 
making the data openly available. We invite you 
to visit our journal sites and seek out the Metrics tab for each article.

It’s also important to emphasize that online 
usage should not be seen as an absolute indicator 
of quality for any given article, and such data 
must be interpreted with caution. To provide 
additional context and to aid interpretation, we 
have provided a series of 
tables indicating the average usage of categories 
of article (grouped by age, journal and topic 
area). Users will also notice that a number of 
articles do not have any usage data, because of 
problems with the log files. We are working hard 
to add data for these articles, and we also 
encourage readers to let us know if they find any 
anomalies or have any questions about the data.

More information about our article-level metrics 
program can be found in our 
website, as well as in this page of descriptive 
text for each journal (e.g for 
Biology and 
ONE). We look forward to your feedback, and to 
further developments in article-level metrics.

Mark Patterson, Director of Publishing

Susanna Mornati, Project Leader AEPIC, www.aepic.it
CILEA Consorzio Interuniversitario, www.cilea.it
I-20090 Segrate Milano, Via R.Sanzio 4 - tel. +39 02 26995 1 (dir.322)
cell. +39 348 7090 226, e-mail: mornati a cilea.it, skype: susanna.mornati

Technology is 90% of the problem and10% of the 
solution, but having the right 10% can be a major benefit (Les Carr).

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