UoL Library Blog

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Ranking open access with twitter

Posted by gazjjohnson on 11 May, 2009

Spotted over on Gerry McKiernan’s blog, a website that ranks arXiv papers by their popularity on Twitter.  I think this is a really interesting idea, and one I’d love to use for the LRA; but I suspect that a) Not that many of our papers are being discussed and b) Not many people who are using our papers are on twitter anyway.

It’s really an order of magnitude thing, the LRA has 4,000ish items arXiv has over 536,000 – we’re not even 1% of their size, and doubtless traffic also.  That said this kind of qualitative real time metric is a bit different to the usual quantitative ones that we seem to be relying on for most repository measurement. 

That said, I know we’ve got to consider that it’s not everyone who is reading these papers is talking about them, and taken on their own these metrics hold only a certain value.  But then, isn’t that the case with every metric?

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2 Responses to “Ranking open access with twitter”

  1. I bet that the twitter count will correlate highly with the download count — though your twitter metric may be an even earlier index than the download count, or the download count growth rate:

    Brody, T., Harnad, S. and Carr, L. (2006) Earlier Web Usage Statistics as Predictors of Later Citation Impact. Journal of the American Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 57 (8). pp. 1060-1072. http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/10713/

    which is automatically generated by Tom Brody’s citebase: http://www.citebase.org/

    Of course, there are many potential metrics of research impact, many of them highly intercorrelated:

    Harnad, S. (2007) Open Access Scientometrics and the UK Research Assessment Exercise. In Proceedings of 11th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics 11(1), pp. 27-33, Madrid, Spain. Torres-Salinas, D. and Moed, H. F., Eds. (2009)Scientometrics 79 (1) http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/17142/

  2. Cheers for the heads up Steven!

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