Altmetrics provide richer data to The MIT Press publications

Recently the Economist ran an interesting story on the increasing openness of science.  The Gates Foundation have joined forces with the Wellcome Trust to mandate that any science funded by them has to be published in open repositories that do not demand any fee for access.

They went on to assess the various ways that scientific value can be assessed, with London based Altmetric highlighted as one of the leaders in this nascent field.

Whilst the company continue to focus primarily on providing a wider perspective on the impact of academic papers, they also have a similar product for book publishers.  The system, known as Badges for Books, has recently been adopted by The MIT Press, with additional data given to visitors about the online attention rating of publications.

The new badges allow users to dive into each title in more detail via the Altmetric site, with the listing for each publication including:

  • A summary and full break-down of all of the mentions and shares that Altmetric has tracked from sources such as the mainstream media, social networks, and public policy sources.
  • Data from the Open Syllabus Project to showcase where the book has been included in institutional reading lists and course syllabi.

“We’re thrilled to be able to provide Altmetric data within The MIT Press books collection. In the changing scholarly communication ecosystem, it is important for authors to be able to track a variety of measures of the downstream impact of their work, and Altmetric is the best tool to help them do that,” The MIT Press say.

It’s a nice example of how authors, publishers and readers can be given a richer and more diverse amount of information about a particular piece of work. Visitors will be able explore the Altmetric data and gather useful insights into how the publications have been received among academic organizations as well as a more general audience.

It will be interesting to see if the approach becomes adopted across a wider range of publishers.



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