Playing around with Altmetrics - Trial by Fire

What are "Almetrics?'

Well, in essence it's an alternative way to review the impact and spread of scholarly research, hence the term 'Altmetrics.' That being the case, I would do a disservice if I tried to go into to great of detail on where Altmetrics came from or how it competes against current standards, but I would recommend for the curious these papers or blog posts. However, what I will talk about is my personal exploration of using Altmetrics in my academic life.

I concentrated on two services based around altmetrics:

ImpactStory

ImpactStory will import data from your other services you participate in.

ImpactStory will import data from your other services you participate in.

This service is a premium subscription based website that reviews, collates, and identifies the reach of your research with a primary emphasis on social media reach and how much the article is talked about. Beyond papers though, this service also incorporates items on Figshare, Github, ArXiv, and other data sharing services. The user then gets a personal page they can embed and share with collegues. Drawback of this service is the cost, at $10 a month or $60 annually. For the sake of this test, I did the free month service (which didn't require me to subscribe or drop my credit card at least). For me, the initial design of the website was rather plain, and I found it hard to create a portfolio and upload biographic content. The help portion was also not exactly forthcoming, and it seemed a bit of work in progress at times.

Almetrics

The other service is from Almetrics.com, which seems more vested for larger institutions (e.g. publishers, research groups) to track the spread of their published works. That being the case, the subscription prices are alot larger. However, there is a bookmarklet you can get from their website that is free to use to see the scores of papers online. This is what I used during my testing.

My Personal Results using Almetrics

In the case with ImpactStory, I integrated my Twitter and Google Scholar account, and then transfered in all my papers from PubMed using PMIDs. This then generated a list that told me how much my articles were disucussed or cited.

List of publications and related importance as determined by ImpactStory

List of publications and related importance as determined by ImpactStory

Clicking on an article would then bring up that paper and its affiliated information, it was then also possible to see where the paper was cited and its impact on social media.

You can see the number of saves on Mendeley number of Tweets regarding the paper.

You can see the number of saves on Mendeley number of Tweets regarding the paper.

Here you can see the metrics in comparison to other papers and their percentile.

Here you can see the metrics in comparison to other papers and their percentile.

In comparison to the data shared on ImpactStory, I looked at the data that Almetrics.com captured with their bookmarklet.

The bookmarklet (upper right corner) shows the Altmetric 'Score' and associated data.

The bookmarklet (upper right corner) shows the Altmetric 'Score' and associated data.

Clicking for more details on the paper brings the user to a page with all the data collated and with further details.

Again, Almetric.com also gives scores generated in comparison to other papers in the journal and in comparison to other research.

Again, Almetric.com also gives scores generated in comparison to other papers in the journal and in comparison to other research.

Final Thoughts on Altmetrics

Overall, using these websites and services was not to difficult, but where I had difficulty was the interpretation and usability of the data provided. There really is not way to export the data, and I would have no idea how to put this together for promotion. A table? Information next to each publication? Not to sure.

The second issue I had was the scoring system, some of that data just seems inflated, especially with the reach of Twitter and potential number of followers. However, it was interesting to see who was talking about my work though. 

Would I use this in the future? Maybe, especially if I can figure out a way to present this data in a meaningful way.

Quick Medical Citation and PDF File Name Generator

This is a quick tool that I thought I would share with everyone. Essentially, it's a citation generator for medical references (and others) using PMID codes. Created by Mick Shroeder, PharmD, an informatics pharmacist, it is available on his website here.

To use this generator, all you need is the PMID or associated identifying code.

To use this generator, all you need is the PMID or associated identifying code.

I have used this generator to get quick references (which are not always correct mind you, especially with author listing and page citation) that I can come back to, and to generate PDF filenames for papers, which I find really useful as it becomes standardized and has all of the information I need.

In this example I have generated my citation and PDF file name.

In this example I have generated my citation and PDF file name.

I hope you find this useful in your work!

How to Use Google Chrome to Quickly Access Clinical Information

On my rotation, I watched one of my students look up drug information and related clinical information from our university resources using only his Google Chrome Browser. What was most fascinating, was the fact he was searching only using the web browser, and didn't need to go through the schools portals to access each resource.

For some time, I had just bookmarked all of my favorite resources, but would need to login to each page or continually scroll through my bookmarks to find the resource I wanted. Instead, this student just searched for the information, and was amazingly quick about it. 

I realized this was something I could learn from my student, and we worked together to create a presentation, hoping to share it with others.

What the following presentation demonstrates is how to use your university/hospital resources through the browser search feature. For instance, I can type in "Lexi" and my search term (ex. furosemide) and the browser will take me to the Furosemide monograph on Lexicomp. I have also used this for Micromedex and Dynamed. My student uses it for medical terminology and other favorite resources he finds beneficial in his education. I hope you equally find this useful.