Measuring the impact scholarly research beyond traditional citation counts and impact factors is becoming more important. In a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, author Jennifer Howard spoke to Plum Analytics’ Mike Buschman about how tracking newer metrics can help keep libraries in the research game. In the article Ms. Howard interviewed one of Plum’s customers, University of Pittsburgh’s Timothy S. Deliyannides who is director of the office of scholarly communication and publishing, and head of information technology in the library system. Mr. Deliyannides is quoted as saying that a critical part of the library’s job is to help the research faculty understand and measure the impact of their work.
Ms. Howard and Mr. Deliyannides discuss the project that the University of Pittsburgh has done with Plum. Mr. Deliyannides describes that they recruited 33 researchers across disciplines and uploaded their CVs, and then Plum harvested the metadata of those CVs “so they know everything we know about the researchers’ works, that’s when they do their magic.” Ms. Howard explained that the magic, “involves checking as many as a hundred different sources of publicly available usage data for every ‘research artifact’ such as a journal article, a conference presentation, or some other piece of scholarship.” Then, the article describes the Plum ‘Sunburst’ view that gives each researcher a graphical display of how each research artifact is doing, giving some view of the impact.