Following well received news earlier this week that we have enabled content filtering (over 10 million articles and records) on ScienceOpen by Altmetric scores (which measure social and mainstream media attention) and Citations, we’re delighted to share this convo between Euan (Altmetric) and Stephanie (ScienceOpen).
Euan: ScienceOpen is beginning to show up on our radar as a content aggregator. What is your goal with ScienceOpen and where are you heading?
Stephanie: Our goal has always been more open scholarly communication.
ScienceOpen is a freely accessible network for aggregating, sharing, and evaluating research information with over 10 million Open Access articles and bibliographic records. Moving forward our focus is on exposing the context of scholarly content. Powerful search and filtering tools, including the first publically available citation index and now the article Altmetric score, will help researchers rapidly find the literature they need.
Altmetric is also an information aggregator and has strongly influenced the debate on how to measure research impact. Altmetric is highlighting the benefits of Open Access in terms of increased attention by the scholarly community. I think it was at a conference coffee break when we talked about how it would be great to be able to search and filter by Altmetric score and now here we are – natural partners!
Euan: What first got you interested in altmetrics and why were you keen to add the Altmetric badges to the site?
At ScienceOpen, the individual research article is always at the center of what we develop. The Altmetric score provides unique insight into the quality and quantity of attention that a scholarly article has received. If citations represent the geneology of an idea, altmetrics tracks its dissemination. Together they give a fuller picture of the “impact” of an article – a tricky category but a worthwhile goal.
By making search results filterable by both citation numbers and Altmetric score, we can provide researchers with different entryways into the data – and that in and of itself may generate new ideas. That is why we were so interested in including the Altmetric badges on the site.
And of course we love the rainbow donuts!
Euan: How do you think that authors or researchers can make best use of your platform?
In three main ways.
It’s a great discovery resource. A search on ScienceOpen does not just pull up a list of article records, but rather a network of information. Topics and articles can be explored via authors, references, keywords, altmetrics, comments and more. Results can be narrowed and sorted and the search parameters saved. Most importantly, the research itself is center stage independent of publisher and journal. We strive to expose as much context for the research on our site as possible.
All content on the platform is available for Post-Publication Peer Review by scientific members with five or more peer-reviewed publications on their ORCID which helps maintain a high standard of discourse. Our larger goals here are to speed up the communication of science by moving its evaluation to after publication, to eliminate anonymity in the interests of transparency and to ensure that the conversation around science never ends. From our perspective, quality assurance does not end at the moment of publication.
ScienceOpen also appoints members of the research community to the role of Collection Editor and they curate articles from multiple publishers in any topic using a Collection tool. The big picture here is to complement the topical bundling done by individual journals and publishers with flexible post-publication collections across all scientific knowledge. The best papers can be included, regardless of whether published on a pre-print server or top journal. In this way we can support of the values espoused by DORA by developing alternatives to the Impact Factor.
Euan: On the technical side, the content you host – could you tell us where it comes from, and how much we’re talking about in terms of volume?
Our platform currently consists of over 10 million articles and records. We have imported to-date 950K full text Open Access articles from PubMed Central and roughly 830K records from arXiv. The additional roughly 8 million bibliographic records are extracted from the references within the full text content. We have started updating the records with the full metadata from external sources (currently PubMed ORCID) for better usability of the content. We also compare the references to ensure that we have good matching so we can merge reference data to create our citation index.
Euan: Where will site visitors be able to find the badges/what can they expect to see?
Researchers will find the Altmetric badge both on the search results page, where they can filter their search by Altmetric score to find the most talked-about paper in their field, as well as on each individual article page as part of the article metrics. When researchers have landed on a paper of interest, they can drill down to find out exactly what aspect of the research people are talking about. The score itself is just a starting point to discover more and we would hope that researchers would treat it critically as with any metric.
As we continue to develop the site we may find unique ways to present the Altmetric score such as an aggregated Altmetric score for collections.
Euan: Do you offer any other article level metrics?
We are committed to providing as much context to an article as possible and article level metrics are central to this mission. On each article page we have a summary box that displays reader numbers on ScienceOpen, citations, post-publication reviews, comments, recommendations and shares.
Search results from within the 10 million articles and records on the site can be filtered by reader count, review rating and, most recently, number of citations.
We have taken the first steps towards a publically available citation index, something that the scientific community truly needs. Researchers can sort their search results by citation number, view the reference list sorted by citation and see other articles by same author, with more contextual information to come. These citation numbers are correct (in a relative not an absolute sense) and can be very useful together with the Altmetric badge to quickly sort articles based on attention by the scientific community.
Euan: Would you like a Donut?
I don’t mind if I do. By return, here’s a 41 second video “How to filter your search by Altmetric” complete with groovy Berlin Techno soundtrack (nice going Dan Cook!).