I think this is pretty cool: As of yesterday, all Public Library of Science (PLoS) journals have links to article-level metrics of online utilization. Now instead of just being able to know how many times your article has been cited, you can get information on a whole set of metrics related to the usage of the article, including how many times it has been viewed online, how many times it has been downloaded, bookmarked on social networks, and been covered in the blogosphere.
I have published two articles in the PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease Journal, so of course I was curious to find out more about how they have been used:
One article (Grépin KA, Reich MR (2008) Conceptualizing Integration: A Framework for Analysis Applied to Neglected Tropical Disease Control Partnerships. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2(4): e174.) was viewed 660 times (thanks Mom!) and was downloaded 143 times. Not bad.
The other (Hodgkin C, Molyneux DH, Abiose A, Philippon B, Reich MR, et al. (2007) The Future of Onchocerciasis Control in Africa. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 1(1): e74. – I am an et al.) has been viewed a whopping 1664 times and has been downloaded over 300 times.
Neither have apparently had much coverage on blogs. I may have to remedy that….(see above).
As academic research is increasingly disseminated through new media channels, I think this is a very important improvement in measuring the impact of work. Old metrics, such as just the number of citations, may miss the importance of many academic publications. Here’s to hoping that more journals begin to report such data.Share on Facebook