From November 1 – 3, 2012, I attended the PLOS Article Level Metrics Workshop in San Francisco .
- Launch of the PLOS Altmetrics Collection. This was really exciting for me as I was one of the organizers of getting this collection produced. Our editorial is here: This collection provides a nice home for future articles on altmetrics
- I was impressed about the availability of APIs. There are now several aggregators and good sources of altmetrics in just a bit of time. ImpactStory, almetric.com, plos alm apis, mendeley, figshare.com, microsoft academic search
- rOpenSci (http://ropensci.org) is a cool project that provides R apis to many of these alt metric and other sources for analyzing data
- There’s quite a bit of interest in services to do these metrics. For example, Plum Analytics (http://www.plumanalytics.com) has a test being done at the University of Pittsburgh. I also talked to other people who were getting interest in using these alternative impact measures and also heard a number of companies are now providing this sort of analytics service.
- I talked a lot to Mark Hahnel from Figshare.com about the Data2Semantics LinkItUp service. He is super excited about it and loved the demo. I’m really excited about this collaboration.
- Microsoft Academic Search is getting better, they are really turning it into a production product with better and more comprehensive data. I’m expecting a really solid service in the next couple of months.
- I learned from Ian Mulvany of eLife that Graph theory is mathematically “the same as” statistical mechanics in physics.
- Context, Context, Context – there was a ton of discussion about the importance of context to the numbers one gets from altmetrics. For example, being able to quickly compare to some baseline or by knowing the population which the number is applied.
- Related to context was the need for simple semantics – there was a notion that for example we need to know if a retweet in twitter was positive or negative and what kind of person retweeted the paper (i.e. a scientists, a member of the public, a journalist, etc). This was because that unlike citations the population that altmetrics uses is not as clearly defined as it exists in a communication medium that doesn’t just contain scholarly communication.
- I had a nice discussion with Elizabeth Iorns the founder of https://www.scienceexchange.com . There doing cool stuff around building markets for performing and replicating experiments.
- Independent of the conference, I met up with some people I know from the natural language processing community and one of the things that they were excited about is computational semantics but using statistical approaches. It seems like this is very hot in that community and something we in the knowledge representation & reasoning community should pay attention to.
Random thought on San Francisco
- Four Barrel coffee serves really really nice coffee – but get there early before the influx of ultra cool locals
- The guys at Goody Cafe are really nice and also serve good coffee
- If you’re in the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf area walk to the Fort Mason for fantastic views of the golden gate bridge. The hostel there also looks cool.