Altmetrics: What is the Buzz about Your Article?

Last week, I saw that Altmetric, a company that measures article level metrics, published their list of the 2014 Top 100 articles.  Here are two examples:

Example 2 Example 3

These are the papers that received the most attention online during 2014 from mainstream news, blogs, social media including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, and Mendeley, and review sites like F1000. They cover a wide range of topics from serious science to those with imaginative titles.

What do you think of the top 100?

Are you curious about the buzz generated by your recent article?

Altimetric offers a free bookmarklet for your browser toolbar that will provide a detailed analysis of article level metrics for any article. Just grab it to install and go to a journal article page and click on the “Altmetric it” icon.

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Here is the Altmetric report for a recent study (published in Sept. 2014.) Notice the details available to show you who is talking about your work. (Click on an image to enlarge it.)

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Intrigued?  Learn more about Altmetrics

“Altmetrics” is an emerging category of impact measurement premised upon the value of “alternative metrics,” or metrics based distinctly on the opportunities offered by the 21st century digital environment according to the ACRL. Frequently presented as a supplemental measure to traditional citation counts and impact factors, it measures the immediate attention generated by a publication and combined with traditional citation counts, journal impact factors, and H-indexes, offers a richer view of the impact of scholarly research.  There are several studies that measure the correlation between early attention to an article and later citation counts.

You may have seen article level metrics on journal article pages from a growing number of publishers, including some PLOS, Nature, Wiley, and Springer journals. Many of these journals include article downloads and page views as well.  Scopus offers Altmetric data in the right sidebar on the article record, allowing you to see both citing articles and article mentions.

Of course there are limitations to the use of these metrics and legitimate concerns about their validity and importance.  To address these issues, NISO (the National Information Standards Organization) has undertaken an initiative to explore, identify, and advance standards and/or best practices related to alt metrics, and has published a draft white paper for public comment.

To learn more about alternative metrics and their use, start here:

Altmetrics: A Manifesto – Jason Priem, Dario Taraborelli, Paul Groth, Cameron Neylon

Altmetrics: A 21st-Century Solution to Determining Research Quality - Stacey Konkiel

 Keeping Up With… Altmetrics – Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt.

OurGroceries

When I heard that ZipList was closing down earlier this month, I panicked. As mentioned in my post about ZipList earlier this year, this is one of the top few apps I use on a daily basis. The discontinuation of this app comes at a very bad time of year, so I’ve quickly had to do my research to find a replacement! And since I raved about ZipList and may have even lead some to start using it themselves, I feel the need to direct you all to another shopping list solution!

After reading about and considering a few other shopping list apps (Shopper, GroceryIQ, Grocery Gadget, and others) I have ended up with OurGroceries. (Available for both iOS and Android as well as via most PC web browsers.)

Our Groceries ListOur Groceries List 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far, am really liking it. As I confessed in my ZipList post, I am not a grocery shopper. I go only when I must. My role is the list maker; my husband’s role is the store-goer. So the ability to share shopping lists in real time, is key. I like to sneak one or two more items on the list while he’s actually at the store!

In addition to list sharing, other shopping list app features I require include the ability to:

  • sign up for an account without linking to Facebook. (This was the deal breaker for Shopper. I did not see a way to share my lists without registering with my Facebook login and like others, I’m still suspicious of “anonymous login.”)
  • make lists for multiple stores: Publix, Target, Home Depot, Beth, Bath, & Beyond, etc.
  • categorize items by type of product and/or aisle in store

I didn’t find myself using ZipList to search for recipes and then automatically add recipe ingredients to my shopping list, so for those who like the sound of that, OurGroceries is probably not for you. You can store recipe names and ingredients but must manually enter that information. There is no place to store the actual recipe instructions. To me, the recipe part of the app is pretty worthless. I guess just having a list of recipe names might be helpful if you’re at a loss for what to cook and need to skim a list.

Some features OurGroceries doesn’t have (or not yet) that some of the other similar apps have include barcode scanning, price tracking, coupon integration, and photos of products. For now at least, I’m enjoying the simplicity of OurGroceries.

There is a free version of OurGroceries, which includes ads. So far, the ads have not been too much of a nuisance to me. For $4.99 (in-app purchase), though, you can upgrade to OurGroceries+ and go ad-free.

Ebola Communication Network (ECN)

For better or worse Ebola’s presence in the United States has definitely increased awareness of the hazards of ignoring infectious disease in developing countries as something that “can’t happen here.” It has also raised the profile of global public health efforts. The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative, or HC3, recently launched an online collection of Ebola resources, materials and tools for prevention and control of this deadly disease, the Ebola Communication Network (ECN).

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A major focus of the ECN is on the use of social and behavior change communication to help residents, healthcare workers and community leaders know how to prevent illness, how to recognize Ebola signs and symptoms and how to care for the sick safely. There are posters, brochures and infographics available for download, as well as demographic information and professional articles for health workers. The site is responsive to mobile devices and optimized for low bandwidth situations.

The ECN allows searching by language, publication type, topic and audience. Users may also upload their own materials, which are posted after a brief review process.

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The Ebola panic in the US has subsided somewhat, but the epidemic in Africa continues. The ECN may prove to be an important tool in providing useful, timely and understandable information to populations dealing with both the disease itself as well as the fear of the disease.

SurveyMonkey

I was very surprised to note that we haven’t ever talked about SurveyMonkey on this blog considering I use this tool pretty much every day.  We couldn’t do our jobs at LHL without knowing what you, the users, need from us.  We have lots of ways to get that information but SurveyMonkey is at tool we use to both gather the information and keep track of it.

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We have had a library SurveyMonkey account since 2006 and have more than 250 surveys.  There are several plan options.We started with the Basic (free) plan, moved up to Select pretty quickly and now are Gold customers.  While everyone at the library has access to the surveys and results, we haven’t found that to be a problem.  Especially since you can group them and view your surveys separately.  There is a new Enterprise solution that might be better if you don’t want everyone to have access to everything.

Typically, I create a survey, either from scratch or from an existing survey, though there are lots of templates to edit and use.  The templates are both business and non-profit focused and can be edited to fit your needs.   We usually create a weblink that we embed on our website or send via email.  It is actually very easy to use, though if you are new to creating surveys you might want to plan a bit with the question types to determine how best to ask your question.

We use this tool to solicit information from a target group, for example a survey of faculty on resources or to do a class evaluation.  We also have surveys that we’ve created for our staff to use to track information from users or about things that have happened.  Data is presented in a variety of ways and can be downloaded and shared.

Find out more online or sign up for a free account to give it a try.

There are some other tools out there, Google Forms as an example, but I highly recommend SurveyMonkey.

How I Work: Sylvia McAphee

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Location: Birmingham, AL
Current Gig: SerialsLibrarian
One word that best describes how you work: Determinedly.
Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why? 

  • EBSCONET
  • Microsoft Office
  • Calculator
  • Adobe Acrobat/Reader
  • SharePoint
  • Yahoo Messenger

All of the above essentials aid me in proficiently and effectively performing my job on a day-to-day basis.

What’s your workspace like?

I like to think of it as functional dysfunction.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut? 

Cut, Copy and Paste J

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? 

I love electronic calendars.   They keep me on task and make sure I get up for work, turn in that report, etc. They make my life so much easier!

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? 

I absolutely cannot live without TV or streaming technology. It’s my portal to the world. Without the news, reality TV, the History Channel, etc., what would I do to entertain myself when I’m not on the phone or using a computer? Can somebody say Netflix or Hulu Plus? That’s good stuff! Variety is the spice of life J

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

I am really good at making good conversation and finding solutions to complex problems. I have always had the ability to make friends easily and learn from every conversation.

What do you listen to while you work?

EVERYTHING! I love everything from gospel, country and the Delta Blues. My taste in music spans all the way up to Gregorian chant. What I listen to depends heavily on my mood and what I am working on at the time.

What are you currently reading?

Bishop Fulton Sheen “Life is Worth Living.” This book is timeless and fits today’s troubled society. He was truly a genius.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I am a little bit of both depending on who you ask.

What’s your sleep routine like?

I am a healthy insomniac. As long as I get 4 hours or so I’m good.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions. 

Christopher Walken.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

There’s no such thing as accidents, just examples of life’s teachable moments. Embrace them, don’t surrender to them.

Sickweather

In case you need another motivator to wash your hands frequently, try out the
Sickweather app! It scans social media sites for mentions of illness, maps the location of those reports in real time, and can send you alerts for reports close to you. Quickly and anonymously add reports of your own illnesses by clicking the + sign in the top right.

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Receive a daily Sickweather forecast for a heads up of the most common illnesses reported in your area. There’s even a 5-day radar that shows the illness hot spots across the country over the past 5 days. You can select what types of illnesses you want to know about, such as bronchitis, common cold, flu, norovirus, pink eye, RSV, stomach virus, strep throat, etc. (Ebola is not included in Sickweather’s list of illness.)

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Also, if you’re planning to travel, you can look up a city and see what illness have been reported most recently there.

I’m going to enjoy giving this app a try. I think it’s important to remind yourself that these are all self-reports of illness, however. While this app might be helpful for getting a general sense of how much people are talking about illnesses on social media (and thus may reflect what’s going around), there is no physician or CDC researcher reviewing these reports to confirm their accuracy!

Almost Painless Biosketches

sciencv logois an online tool that assists researchers in creating and formatting biographical sketches needed for federally funded research. Because it generates reference lists from My NCBI and imports grant information from eRA Commons, it is fast!  Save your templates to modify and update later.

Formatted Biosketch

  • Developed by NCBI (NIH) for the SciENcv interagency working group: DOD,DOE, EPA, NIH, NSF, USDA
  • Used to create, save and maintain multiple NIH biosketches for grant applications and annual reports. Includes template for NIH Biosketch now, and NSF is to be added Fall, 2014.

This video from NIH demonstrates the features of SciENcv.  Prefer to read? See these detailed instructions.  Or check out this guide to get started working with My NCBI.

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Do you know Stanford Medicine X?

Stanford Med X logo

Medicine X brings together patients, providers, researchers and technologists to move health care and emerging technologies forwardway forward.

Medicine X just held their 4th annual conference in September.  To get an idea of how diverse their program is, check out the schedule.  You’ll quickly see that the 2014 schedule is not just a list of speakers and abstracts, but a way to connect to the conference and the speakers even if you weren’t there.  Many of the contributors to Medicine X are ePatients (meaning expert patients)–some are also well-established bloggers, blogging about their illness or chronic disease.

The conference is styled very similarly to TED Talks–the stage is flashy, no podium, speakers are cool, casual and inspiring.

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Image (YouTube) of Brit Johnson delivering a talk about her experience with autoimmune arthritis at a Medicine X Conference at Stanford University. You can follow her blog @hurtblogger.

 

There is a list of Medicine X’s selected talks made up of conference presentations and weekly LIVE discussions that are designed to be watched and followed on Twitter (#MedX) every Tuesday & Thursday.  (NOTE:  The site seems to be behind in their promotion of upcoming LIVE discussions, but there are plenty archived on their YouTube Channel.)

As mentioned before, patients play a big role at the conference, ePatient Scholarships applications can now be submitted for the 2015 conference.  If you are or know a good candidate, this looks like an amazing & fun opportunity!

 

 

Social Media and Foodborne Illness Surveillance

“Twitter epidemiology” is a hot topic among public health professionals, as they investigate social media as a means of gathering data on unfolding health threats in the community. Perhaps one of the best uses of this new means of data collection is in tracking foodborne illnesses. Since many people who experience food poisoning treat it at home rather than visit a doctor or hospital, the incidence of food poisoning has long been recognized as underreported (Noesie, 2014). Social media, including online food and entertainment review sites and Twitter, are seen as a way to address that underreporting by identifying comments by users and “tweets” that report symptoms of food poisoning.

Foodborne Chicago banner logo

A recent MMWR issue reported on a project by the Chicago Department of Public Health which used Twitter to identify possible food poisoning complaints and follow up on them. The “Foodborne Chicago” site URL was provided in response to these online complaints, through which 193 complaints were submitted by users. In turn the health department inspected 133 restaurants as a result of these complaints, about 40 percent of which revealed health and safety violations.

Foodborne Chicago online form

The use of social media and online technologies to identify public health threats seems promising. Previous research has focused on the use of Google search analytics to help identify disease outbreaks. As far as foodborne illness specifically, the research so far has been limited. Most projects, including the Foodborne Chicago pilot, found similar results in surveillance via social media as compared to other methods. With further research, perhaps social media can become a mainstream adjunct to traditional methods of surveillance and follow-up for food poisoning outbreaks.

How I Work: Dana Hettich

dana hettich

Location: Birmingham, AL
Current Gig: Librarian
One word that best describes how you work: Deliberately
Current mobile device: iPhone 4S

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why? 

  • Uniball micro pens (purple).
  • Foam earplugs.
  • Coffee.
  • Sleep.
  • Indoor track.
  • Calendar
  • Reminder app

What’s your workspace like?

I like to think of it as organized chaos.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut? 

Eating a lot of foods (fruit, vegetables, cheese) uncooked. I find it sounds fancier when I call it crudité.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? 

At this point I use three different tools. I use a binder that is broken down by week with one part containing the list of items that need to be done by week’s end and the other part giving space to what bubbles up on any given day. I also use an old fashioned desk calendar. It helps reinforce long term deadlines with a glance. And finally I use reminders in Outlook and on my iPhone.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? 

Does my coffee maker count?

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

I’m not sure I’m better than everyone at anything. I don’t think there’s anything I do better than everyone. Here are a few things that I do reasonably well:

1. Make coffee. I started drinking it black years ago, and I find that most people make brown water, not coffee.

2. Filter my reactions. I have found that I will feel like I was short and irritable and when I apologize later for it people invariably react with “you were?”

3. Dana-doodles – useless but entertaining drawings made in the effort to explain something. (I just found out that this has become a thing in the office.)

What do you listen to while you work?

I’m ADD so I have a hard time listening to anything when I need to focus. If I find things are too quiet (yes, quiet can also be distracting) I like to listen to the Ambient channel on Soma FM. EXPAND

What are you currently reading?

I usually have a two or three of books going. Right now I am reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos. It’s my lunch book. I just finished Decisions, the freshman discussion book at UAB.  And today I picked up Think Like a Freak. Also, I’ve made a habit of reading comics at bedtime. So right now I’m working my way through a collection of Calvin and Hobbes.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I would say that I’m a self-conscious extrovert.

What’s your sleep routine like?

I have always been an 8 hour girl. So now, since I get up a little after 5 a.m., I try to be in bed a little after 9, which gets me close to 8. Thankfully, I do much better with less sleep than I used to.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions. 

Neil Gaiman

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I’m not sure it’s the best advice I’ve ever received, but I have recently been told to “lighten up.” I like it so much that I have it on a sticky note in my office and have added it to my Thoughtback list.