SciELO and PlumX: More Open Access, More Insight

Both researchers and academic publishers in developing countries face an uphill battle when they seek to make an impact in their fields on the global stage. Researchers need both access to academic content to stay abreast of research developments, and a forum to publish results of their research that might get the attention the research deserves. The challenge is compounded when researchers’ lingua franca is not English. Meanwhile, publishers seek to provide a platform to disseminate this research but the underlying technology platforms are expensive to develop and maintain.

scielo-logoSciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online:, founded in Brazil in 1997,  is one of the first projects to tackle these problems head-on at a large scale. It is a publicly-funded initiative aiming to support cooperative, free electronic publishing and dissemination of scientific journals from developing countries. The project also supports the development of regional databases and the implementation of indicators of scientific literature usage. Today the platform, the largest open-access database in Latin America, supports the publication of over 1,200 journals from 14 countries, with over 570,000 articles, all available in free open-access full text.

As part of SciELO’s initiatives to measure the engagement with this content, they provide citation statistics, reporting on the number of SciELO documents that cite a work. These metrics are now incorporated in the PlumX suite. For research published on SciELO, this means PlumX can show you these citations in the context of our other metrics and give you a new measure of academic engagement with your work in developing countries around the world.

Previously, when we added usage metrics from Airiti’s platform, we highlighted how these regional metric sources combine to paint a global picture of where and how your research is being used. SciELO’s citation metrics combine with our other PlumX altmetrics, leveraging our match and merge technology, to help round out the story of your research’s reach.

For example, consider this article, published in the Brazilian Society of Pharmacognosy’s journal “Revista Brasileira de Famacognosia” on SciELO’s platform. It is interesting to see metrics across all five categories for this artifact, from Mendeley captures to social media. Most prominently, it is referenced in two English Wikipedia pages. While the research is not highly cited by more traditional citation indexes, 170 articles within SciELO cite it – and you can see this citation count within PlumX.

Another example is this research artifact, “The influence of social support on strengthening families of children with chronic renal failure”, published in the nursing journal Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem. Along with citation information from Scopus, SciELO, Crossref and PubMed Central, we can see it was also cited in the NICE  UK clinical guideline for chronic kidney disease. This highlights open access research from Latin America being used in different ways across  different regions of the world. It also shows how PlumX can highlight evidence of clinical impact you might not have otherwise found.