PlumX: Who is talking about my research?

Plum Analytics, or  PlumX, belongs to the small but increasingly influential community of  altmetrics  data providers (one provider is confusingly named Altmetric). The term altmetrics (alternative metrics) was first introduced in 2010 by Jason Priem. Simply put, they are alternative research metrics because they supplement traditional bibliometrics. Traditional metrics include citation counts, journal impact factor, and an author’s H-index. These are often compiled months to years after research is published. PlumX metrics provide us with immediate details on the ways people interact with individual pieces of research in the online environment, whether that research output is a scholarly article or a podcast, a policy document, dataset, video, or one of more than 60 other formats. PlumX generates metrics via access to data providers like YouTube, Twitter, SSRN, Crossref and many others. These metrics are divided into five categories: usage, captures, mentions, citations, and social media

Usage

Usage helps us understand if users are downloading or reading the work. Touro Scholar reports download counts, or how many times people click download, for instance. When users land on a page or click a link to a page from a variety of sources, these also get counted as it’s likely the user is reading the abstract or at least is interested in the work itself.   

Captures 

Captures can be  leading indicators of citations, because if someone is saving the work via a citation manager or bookmark manager, they probably are going to use that work as a reference later on in their own work. 

Citations 

This is one of the most traditional bibliometrics, how many times a work is cited by another work. PlumX  gathers this metric from at least 15 citation metrics sources, including Dynamed Plus Topics, Scopus, Crossref, and PubMed. It’s important to remember that this metric says little about how the work is cited by another work (take a look at scite.ai to see an emerging example of citation analysis with machine learning). Still citation counts are fundamental to bibliometrics, and indexes of citations in law, medicine, and other fields are centuries old.  

Mentions

Mentions are meant to measure conversation around works, via blogs, comments, video streaming sites, and references in Wikipedia.   

Social Media

Social media includes sharing on Twitter and Facebook. It also includes Reddit upvotes, ratings on Amazon and likes on YouTube. For academic journal articles, Twitter is a popular platform to share new research. Share with a link to the research (DOI or publisher’s page URL) so that the post is picked up in metrics counts.  

Why is this important? 

Have you ever wondered how others are accessing or reading any of your academic artifacts? With these altmetrics you will be able to more immediately measure awareness and interest towards your academic work.  In a competitive research landscape, PlumX  offers metrics to support your research impact footprint, to give you new ways to uncover and tell the stories of your research.  

Increasingly, researchers, funders, and universities are using these data to understand and tell fuller stories about their scientific impact and investments.    

As a researcher and author, PlumX metrics can help you showcase the impact of your work to others both inside your institution (colleagues, deans, etc.) and outside (grant funders). Altmetrics can help in assessing an academic unit’s research impact and increase its visibility. As a program director, dean of a school, or research support staff member you can track research and demonstrate:  

  1. ROI of research money 
  2. rising stars among early career researchers 
  3. a more compelling narrative about research  
  4. where research is a good potential investment 
  5. the strengths of research at the institution 

Instead of a static list of publications, the PlumX metrics provide a live update of interaction with publications. Researchers are already using altmetrics to bolster their funding proposals in tools like the National Institutes for Health’s Biosketch.

How can I access altmetrics  about my research?  

Touro College & University System Libraries has recently integrated PlumX altmetrics into Touro Scholar, our institutional repository. After you have created an account, click on “Author’s Dashboard” and then on the sidebar, click on the PlumX  logo. That’s where you can find PlumX metrics aggregated for all items in the repository authored by you. For your research articles on publisher’s webpages, you can often find altmetrics on sidebars, whether from PlumX, Altmetric, or the publisher’s own data.

If you have a new publication, share the DOI or URL of the article via social media or blog post, and consider depositing your article in Touro Scholar so more readers worldwide can access it.

Please contact us if you need any help with PlumX, altmetrics, bibliometrics or Touro Scholar:

Sara Tabaei: sara.tabaei@touro.edu
Tim Valente: timothy.valente@touro.edu

Caution  

We just want to remind you that  altmetrics  do not replace traditional bibliometrics. Instead, they complement them and show some insights that were previously unmeasured. Like most metrics, there are both legitimate and unscrupulous methods of “boosting” numbers. Researchers should be aware of the ethics surrounding research and authorship by consulting the TCUS academic integrity policy, the norms of their relevant field, and the recommendations of publishers and working groups like the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and others.   

This post was contributed by Tim Valente, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Sara Tabaei, Library Information Literacy Director

Listing Authors on Your Research Paper

In an ideal world, all authors listed on an academic paper would be seen as an equal contributors to the research and of equal importance. However, this is not the case. For a long time, the academic industry has set the precedent that the first author listed on the paper is the primary author who did the most work and is of the most importance. Unfortunately, this precedent has caused much confusion among readers, researchers, and academics alike as to how much each author is worth to each academic paper.

The first author’s name on an academic paper is a much sought after position. The person in this spot often has the good fortune of his or her name associated with the paper, since citation rules often limit in-text citations to the first author’s last name. This causes the rest of the authors in a citation to receive the unfortunate “et al” label. This tradition has led to the assumption that the rest of the authors listed are in descending order of contribution or importance. In addition to the first author listed, the name of the last author listed is also a coveted position since it has been traditionally reserved for the supervisor of a project. In contrast to this traditional way of listing authors, there are a number of other methods used to list authors on a paper:

  • Alphabetical – This is a method where by authors are listed in alphabetical order regardless of contribution effort. This is very convenient for large group projects.
  • Contribution statement – This method places an asterisk next to each author’s name, with a statement as to what they directly contributed to the article. This is becoming a more popular method, as many journals now require authors to explain their exact role in the research in addition, it is becoming more popular because it allows for more transparency as to how the research was conducted.
  • Negotiated order – This is a method whereby authors negotiate and “fight out” among themselves how the author list will be written. This allows all the authors to agree upon how they should be listed based on their efforts. Of course, the downside of this method is that it leaves less powerful members of a research team vying for political support regardless of the work they conducted.

Since there are no rules or standards regarding listing authors, problems can arise from the lack of transparency. The reader has to wonder how much each author actually worked on the research or how much politics played into the decision to list an author first.

There are several solutions to the problem of first author prestige. As listed above, a contribution statement is one of the solutions to this problem. Another solution is ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). ORCID is a unique identifier that allows an individual researcher to connect his or her articles and work to his or her name, regardless of what order names appear on the author list of an article. This unique identifier also allows an individual researcher to be distinguished from other researchers who have the same name. This allows authors to clarify what work is theirs and what their accomplishments are.

For more information on ORCID, try these websites:

This post was contributed by Annette Carr, Chief Librarian, Bay Shore and was originally published in ‘Significant Results: The Research Newsletter of the School of Health Sciences’ Volume 1, Issue 1. It is reprinted here with permission.

Unlocking Links with LibKey

Do you need a journal article faster than you can say “database”?

You’re in luck! The TC Libraries are excited to share LibKey, which allows easy access to PDF downloads when using the QuickSearch function on the TC Libraries homepage.

As part of the Libraries’ BrowZine subscription, LibKey’s quick access means you can skip the work of navigating to the database and checking for access to an article there or seeking out an open access version. There is nothing you need to do to turn LibKey on; it is automatically enabled.

screenshot of quick search results showing

And, if you’re on the move, LibKey Nomad is an extension which allows you to find full-text articles in the Touro Libraries databases via citations across the web, from PubMed to Wikipedia. Once you have installed the extension in your browser, the LibKey icon will appear by links on other websites, allowing you to see if there is an available article.

screenshot showing the libkey nomad icon by

For help with your research at any stage, from finding articles to crafting citations, contact the Touro College Libraries or check out our Research Guides.

What’s new with RefWorks? August 2020

On August 11, Ex Libris/ProQuest provided a quarterly update about RefWorks, a citation manager to which the Touro College Libraries subscribe and one which we recommend for organizing research at all levels. There were some key changes and additions that will make navigating RefWorks easier — but your librarians are always available to help you, too.

A new “Top Frequently Asked Questions” page has been added to the Customer Knowledge Center (a site with information about and support for common RefWorks issues):

screenshot of refworks

If you have worked with RefWorks recently, you may have noticed that the APA 7th edition has been added, but that there are several styles to choose from. ProQuest has added information to the Customer Knowledge Center about the different versions of APA 7th.

screenshot from the exlibris knowledge center about

If those options do not suit your needs or the needs of your students, you can create (or request the creation of) an institutional version of the APA 7th edition citation style and mark it as a favorite. RefWorks administrators can also create citation styles for specific departments or classes.

The final key update from the presentation is particularly good news for everyone working from home: the RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) add-on is now available for Word Online (i.e., the version available when working in Box) and can be installed from the Microsoft store.

screenshot of reference citation manager in

Within RCM, users can now toggle the bibliography on and off, so that a file will load faster when you are working online — you just need to make sure to leave it “on” when you are finished and ready to submit!

For more information on RefWorks, please see our guide to ProQuest RefWorks or schedule an appointment with a librarian.

Copyright Infringement vs. Plagiarism

Copyright is complicated — there is no doubt about it. It overlaps with a lot of other issues in academic integrity and scholarship, including plagiarism. While copyright infringement and plagiarism can and do sometimes occur at the same time, they are separate concerns.

Plagiarism is using someone’s ideas or words and passing them off as your own or not giving the original author credit. Copyright infringement is using someone’s copyright materials — visual works, literary works, or otherwise — without permission (and without a fair use or other legal exemption). This includes sharing works, making copies of the work, and editing or remixing the work, among other actions.

a lego pirate figurine
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

Using Your Own Work

Whether you can use your own copyrighted works depends on what your publisher allows. For example, to make copies of an article you wrote to give to your friends, you might need to get permission from the publisher if you signed away your right to distribute your work in your author contract. This can be especially frustrating, so it is important to carefully review your publishing contracts and add an addendum when necessary.

Self-plagiarism is another mistake to watch out for. Self-plagiarism occurs when you use work that you have previously published in a new work, without referencing your previous publication. It is important to let readers know the scholarly history of your thought, especially in scientific research; for students, self-plagiarism can result in academic dishonesty sanctions.

letters flying out of an open book
Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Examples

Q: Adam uses several sentences from his dissertation in a new research paper he is writing; since he is using his own work, he decides not to cite it. What’s wrong with this scenario?

A: This is self-plagiarism.

Q: Beatrice is part of a book group with other members of the physics department. She thinks they would really like copies of her dissertation, which was published as a book last year by a commercial publisher. She doesn’t want them to have to buy the book, so she makes copies of it for each of them. What’s wrong with this scenario?

A: This is copyright infringement.

Learn more in our LibGuides for Copyright and Fair UseCiting Sources, and College Writing, read up in the blog post “Using Images on Blogs and Social Media (or: Pictures on the Internet Aren’t Copyrighted, Right?),” or contact a librarian for help with your writing and research.

MLA: Help for Citing All Kinds of Sources

Man Stretching at Desk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a self-admitted nerd, and during the early January blizzard and sub-zero temperatures, I ventured out through wind and snow to join many fellow nerds at the MLA’s annual convention. Now, to most people, “MLA” is synonymous with burdensome citation rules, but the organization, whose full name is the Modern Language Association, actually encompasses academic research from all sorts of topics in literature and the humanities. The convention in January had panels by scholars on Shakespeare, fantasy literature, Renaissance epics, Leonard Cohen’s poetry, and many other topics near and dear to my heart.  Continue reading