New impact metric

In an attempt to provide alternative metrics to the traditional journal impact factor, the open-access journal __Public Library of Science ONE__ announced that it will release a slew of alternative impact data about individual articles in the coming months. The new "articles-level metrics project" -- which will post usage data, page views, citations from linkurl:Scopus;http://info.scopus.com/ and linkurl:CrossRef,;http://www.crossref.org/ social networlking links, press coverage, comments, and

By | January 19, 2009

In an attempt to provide alternative metrics to the traditional journal impact factor, the open-access journal __Public Library of Science ONE__ announced that it will release a slew of alternative impact data about individual articles in the coming months. The new "articles-level metrics project" -- which will post usage data, page views, citations from linkurl:Scopus;http://info.scopus.com/ and linkurl:CrossRef,;http://www.crossref.org/ social networlking links, press coverage, comments, and user ratings for each of __PLoS ONE__'s thousands of articles -- was announced yesterday (Jan. 18) by linkurl:Peter Binfield,;=http://www.plos.org/about/people/one.html the journal's managing editor, at the linkurl:ScienceOnline'09;http://www.scienceonline09.com/ conference in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
"No one has any data other than [ISI] impact factors," Binfield told __The Scientist__. "Our idea is to throw up a bunch of metrics and see what people use." From its inception at the end of 2006, __PLoS ONE__ has eschewed the notion of impact factors. (It is not currently listed by the ISI Web of Science's rankings.) Binfield argued that the traditional impact factor judges a journal's overall performance, rather than assessing impact at the article-level. The new scheme, however, is aimed at evaluating each article on its own merits, regardless of the other papers in the same journal, he said. __PLoS ONE__ doesn't plan to crunch the data itself, though. "We're not being arrogant enough to make our own metric," said Binfield. Rather, he hopes that the journal's readers will use the information to come to their conclusions. "We're putting the data out there and letting the world figure it out." Eventually, Binfield hopes that readers will be able to personalize how they view the data, and sort articles according to the metric of their choice. "The more metrics we have, the more it'll lead to a dilution of any one [metric]," said linkurl:Bjoern Brembs,;http://bjoern.brembs.net/ a neuroscientist at the Free University of Berlin in Germany and member of __PLoS ONE__'s editorial board.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Impact factors and publishing research;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13247/
[16th September 2002]*linkurl:PLoS plans to publish its own journals;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/19886/
[7th September 2001]*linkurl:Long-term vs. short-term journal impact: Does it matter?;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/17900/
[2nd February 1998] *linkurl:Dispelling a few common myths about journal citation impacts;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/17383/
[3rd February 1997]

Comments

Avatar of: Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson

Posts: 2

January 20, 2009

We applaud the effort by PLoS One to introduce new metrics to help readers and authors judge the value and impact of individual articles. At the open-access online Journal of Vision, we have since May 2007 offered detailed usage statistics for individual articles (http://journalofvision.org/7/7/i/). These include a measure ? DemandFactor ? that attempts to summarizes the download activity for an individual article. PLoS ONE might consider including this among their metrics. Whatever the precise measures adopted, we hope and expect that metrics of this kind will be of great value to readers, authors, and science administrators.\n\n\nAndrew B. Watson\nEditor-in-Chief\nJournal of Vision http://journalofvision.org
Avatar of: abc def

abc def

Posts: 7

January 21, 2009

If there is any institution, researcher, etc. out there listening.\nHere is my idea to achieve a fair, true reviewing and quality evaluation. A feedback system (ebay style, but better) where readers of the article can score the value of the article and possibly rate a number of relevant scientific aspects. In this way, impact of good articles would be reinforced and bad ones would be marginalized (despite appearing in a high IF journal, for instance. Or viceversa). This system could be integrated in article databases such as PubMed. Finally, a number of measures should be implemented to reduce fraudulent reviews (like registering the IP address, user registration and so on).\nLet's give the entire scientific community the power to peer review!
Avatar of: Bjoern Brembs

Bjoern Brembs

Posts: 14

January 21, 2009

@abc def: This is practically a description of PLoS One.\n\nIn general: No metric can ever substitute reading the actual publications. However, if metrics are required, you better have several of them. For one, it makes any single one less important and the total harder to game. Second, assessment can be made flexibly, depending on the demands of the user. As such, I applaud the new metrics to be rolled out at PLoS One next month.\nThe above notwithstanding, in the end, it's not expert opinion nor metrics which eventually makes papers famous, infamous or irrelevant. Only the passage of time can reliably do that.\nDisclaimer: I volunteer as PLoS One academic editor.

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