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Article-level metrics: which service to choose?

26 Oct, 12 | by BMJ

Article-level metrics (or ALMs) were a hot topic at this week’s HighWire publisher meeting in Washington. (Highwire hosts both the BMJ and its stable of 42 specialist journals). From SAGE to eLife, publishers seem sold on the benefits of displaying additional context to articles, thereby enabling readers to assess their impact. These statistics range from traditional indicators, such as usage statistics and citations, to alternative values (or altmetrics) like mentions on Twitter and in the mainstream media.

So, what services are available to bring this information together in one simple interface? There are quite a few contenders in this area, including Plum Analytics, PLoS Article-Level Metrics application, Science Card, CitedIn and ReaderMeter. One system in particular has received a good deal of attention in the past few weeks; ImpactStory, a relaunched version of total-impact. It’s a free, open-source webapp that’s been built with financial help from the Sloan Foundation (and others) “to help researchers uncover data-driven stories about their broader impacts”.


Topic rather than date: a sea change in web publishing?

21 Sep, 12 | by BMJ

Structuring web content by topic or theme is not radically new. Over the past decade, tagging has been the most common method of creating organisation online. ‘Web 2.0’ companies like Delicious and Flickr built their entire businesses around user-generated tagging of content (a.k.a folksonomies) but topic pages never really reached their potential. This is evident in the chronological organisation of academic material and also in three of the biggest online services ; Facebook, Twitter and Blogs.

However, internet savants are predicting a big change in web publishing, which involves a move towards topic organisation. Medium, a new site launched by Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone, organises its content into pages. Each page is called a “collection” and is structured around a single topic, event or theme. As discussed above, people have consumed content largely on a chronological basis until now. Services like Medium, however, along with the more established Pinterest, are attempting to change that.


RebelMouse: an easy way to “deal with social”?

6 Sep, 12 | by BMJ

With more and more social networks appearing on a daily basis, many find themselves with multiple sites to manage and not enough time to do so. Enter RebelMouse, a self-proclaimed “social front page”, that pulls in user content from social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

At first glance, RebelMouse looks like a digital newspaper, hosted on Pinterest. After you spend some time on the site, however, it becomes clear that there is more to it than that. Founded by Paul Berry, the former CTO of The Huffington Post, RebelMouse has already signed up 32,000 users since it’s launch in June.


Pinterest: is it really just cupcakes and kittens?

9 Mar, 12 | by BMJ

The image-sharing site Pinterest has enjoyed dramatic growth since its launch in February 2010. The service’s user base has grown rapidly, from 1.6 million visitors in September 2011 to 11.1 million visitors in February 2012. According to comScore, it has become the the “fastest standalone website to surpass the 10 million mark”. Not only does Pinterest drive more traffic to retail sites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined, it also drives more traffic to blogs than Twitter. Analytics also show that when it comes to engagement, Pinterest is second only to Facebook — its users spend, on average, 89 minutes per month on the social network.

However, there’s still a healthily high percentage of people who have heard nothing about Pinterest. So, what’s all the fuss about? And is it really dominated by images of cute kittens and elaborately conceived cupcakes?


Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle – the finalists

18 Nov, 11 | by BMJ

PLoS and Mendeley recently closed their Binary Battle contest to build the best apps that make science more open using PLoS and/or Mendeley’s APIs (Application Programming Interface). There are some big names on the judging panel, such as Tim O’Reilly (coined the term ‘Web 2.0’), James Powell (CTO of Thomson Reuters) and Werner Vogels (CTO of  The entries have been whittled down to 11 finalists and the winner will be announced on 30th November 2011. Read on for details of some of these finalists or go here a full list: more…

Tracking scholarly impact on the social web: altmetrics

4 Nov, 11 | by BMJ

Tim Berners-Lee created the Web as a scholarly communication tool but some argue that the Web has revolutionised everything but scholarly communication. One of the major adherents of this view is Jason Priem, co-founder of the altmetrics project, whose website states:

In the 17th century, scholar-publishers created the first scientific journals, revolutionising the communication and practice of scholarship. Today, we’re at the beginning of a second revolution, as academia slowly awakens to the transformative potential of the Web.

In growing numbers, scholars are moving their daily work to the Internet. Online reference managers, such as Zotero and Mendeley, have grown in popularity, the latter claiming to store over 120 million articles (substantially more than PubMed). As many as a third of scholars are on Twitter and a growing number cultivate scholarly blogs. more…

What is social bookmarking and why is it useful?

26 May, 10 | by BMJ

Have you ever emailed friends or colleagues with a link to a website that you thought they might find interesting? If so, you have participated in social bookmarking. Tagging a website and saving it for later is the fundamental purpose of social bookmarking. However, instead of saving sites to your individual web browser, you are saving them to the Web. It is precisely because your bookmarks are online that you can so easily share them with your colleagues and friends. The video below will show you how to get started on a popular social bookmarking site called delicious:

Not only can you save your favourite websites and send them to your friends,  you can also look at what other people have found interesting enough to tag. Most social bookmarking sites allow you to browse through the items based on most popular, recently added, or belonging to a certain category like shopping, technology, politics, blogging, news, sports, etc. You can even search through what people have bookmarked by typing in what you are looking for in the search tool. In fact, social bookmarking sites are often used as intelligent search engines.

So, how do we use social bookmarking on the journal sites?

You may well have noticed that we include links to social bookmarking, news and networking sites on the right-hand side of all our journal articles (see screenshot below). By clicking on one of the social bookmarking icons, you can easily tag a particular article and bookmark it for reading/sharing later. The sites that we link to include:

  • CiteULike: Designed specifically for the needs of scientists and scholars.
  • Connotea: Service for scientists, researchers and clinicians.
  • Delicious: Popular site for storing, sharing and discovering web bookmarks.

In addition to allowing our users to bookmark our articles, we use this technology to organise some of our own references. On the Evidence-Based journals (Evidence-Based Medicine, Evidence-Based Mental Health and Evidence-Based Nursing) a Connotea account is used to manage the ‘Long List’ of references that each issue is chosen from. On a weekly basis, the Connotea account is updated with a new list of references, which then automatically produces an RSS feed. This RSS feed is filtered (according to the particular journal) and ends up on a homepage widget in the form of PubMed references (see below). This enables us to keep our homepages looking fresh with minimal editorial input and gives users the opportunity to see which articles are still of high interest despite not making it into the journal.

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