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PLOS hosts ALM Workshop and Hackathon in San Francisco

On November 1st – 3rd  2012, PLOS welcomed 45 thought leaders in the rapidly emerging field of Article Level Metrics (ALM) to a Workshop on new ways to measure science and a Hackathon (co-sponsored by ImpactStory) to highlight the opportunities of the altmetrics field for the developer community.

ALMs offer direct, first-hand views of the dissemination and reach of research articles through an ever-increasing range of different metrics, from the more traditional usage and citation data, to the mosaic of social media data. This multi-dimensional suite of indicators captures the research footprint from the moment of publication and dynamically tracks its impact over time.

Building off last year’s Beyond Impact Workshop and altmetrics11 & 12, representatives from notable universities, funders, libraries, publishers and developers gathered at the Fort Mason Conference Center for an in-depth discussion of current challenges and future opportunities in the altmetrics community.

During the event, the group had the opportunity to provide input on the most pressing and compelling areas of ALM advancement. Topics such as community structures, advocacy, anti-gaming mechanisms, scalability, relevance, sentiment analysis, personalization, data presentation and many others were the subjects of thorough examination and lively discourse. A full report of the entire proceedings will be available shortly on the PLOS ALM website and some interesting personal impressions of the workshop are provided by Martin Fenner (PLOS ALM technical lead).

The Hackathon was held at the PLOS San Francisco office and brought the research community and developers together to identify solutions to current challenges in the field of altmetrics Group members worked on a number of different projects including:

  •  ReRank It – allows ranking of pubmed search results based on the impact they have had
  • AltViz – focused on better ways to visualize altmetric data at various levels
  • Other projects –  Author Centrality Measurement, Altgaming and One article, Many URL’s

PLOS also made two important announcements at the Workshop. Firstly, the launch of the Altmetrics Collection which brings together current research to seed further study and use in this field. As an ever-growing collection, it covers a range of research relating to scholarly impact in online tools and environments. The Collection remains open to all authors who wish to submit research in these areas.

PLOS also promoted the availability of a new release of our open source application (API) which enables API users the ability to access historical data, giving a more accurate picture of the manner and frequency with which readers interact with published content. The code is hosted on GitHub.

PLOS’s unique position as a publisher, an Open Access advocate and a technology-led innovator combine to allow us to successfully leverage its mission of leading a transformation in research communication. It’s gratifying that ALM have attracted support as a new way to measure the reach and impact of an article in and across different research disciplines.  Just recently, Nature Publishing Group announced that that they would be joining PLOS and a growing number of publications by providing ALM’s on twenty journals.

PLOS is delighted to support community momentum coming out of this meeting. To get involved simply add a comment to this post, send us a Tweet or share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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