The age-old adage for researchers: publish or perish might be true in a competitive academic track, but it does not foster a community of meaningful science. A scientist ought to know how their work is being received and who is reading it. Since publications are central to research, journals have attempted to provide author services including readership and social media sharing metrics. Altmetrics, a data science company, and PubFactory aim to do just that.
When a manuscript is published, the impact factor of the journal provides an idea of how well the reader would read the research. However, the impact factor does not actually indicate the number of readers who looked at an individual publication nor does it indicate how well that publication was received. For example, a publication in a low impact journal could be widely cited and talked about on social media—but you would never know it because of the journal’s impact factor! Thus, this partnership will provide new and relevant insights into engagement data hosted on PubFactory’s platform through Altmetrics.
Tale of Two Companies
As a data science company, Almetrics allows researchers to track online communication of an individual’s research, including who is referencing it or talking about it through social media and news outlets. Once the research data was added to PubFactory’s online platform, a wonderful opportunity emerged for scientists to track the meaningful impact of their work!
Many major scholarly publishers, including Harvard University Press and the Modern Language Association already use PubFactory. Indeed, over 1,400 journals and 400,000 books are hosted on its platform. PubFactory has recently improved its author services by collaborating with Altmetrics to provide data regarding publication dissemination.
Better Insights into the Reach of Publications
Following publication, it is important to understand how one’s research becomes known in different circles. Rather than relying on an impact factor or waiting to see if someone tweets about an exciting new publication, a scientist can simply navigate to their article on PubFactory to view metrics, such as citations, social media sharing, or news outlet mentions provided by Altmetrics. Understanding the continuing impact and context of a researchers’ work keeps them informed on who is reading their work and why the readers consider it important. Furthermore, these metrics reflect up-to-the-minute data that can be analyzed following the publication of relevant articles or important events outside of the laboratory.
Ultimately, this partnership provides immediate feedback on the spread of a publication. Kathy Christian, Chief Operations Officer for Almetrics, agrees that this new partnership “enables authors to immediately track and quantify the influence of their work.” Data science companies have been a powerful asset in the management of data and this latest advancement in author services will certainly accelerate the effectiveness of scholarly publishing. As scientists continue to work on new research horizons, the new tool from Altmetrics and PubFactory will help them to share their work effectively with a wider audience.