Newsflo brings new impact metrics to Mendeley

NewsfloSome exciting news has just come through, in that Elsevier has acquired Newsflo, an innovative service that helps academic institutions keep track of all their media coverage and social media mentions, boosting the visibility of researchers and their work.

Whereas traditionally academia has been very insular in the way they measured impact of its research output – think “walled garden” and the tyranny of citation count – these days it is increasingly accepted that citations alone are not the most accurate way of determining the reach and usefulness of research. We’ve seen the rise of Altmetrics and Mendeley has contributed a lot to this, collaborating with others to provide readership statistics that offer the research community much more relevant and granular insight on how and where their papers are being discovered, read, annotated, shared and cited.

Newsflo takes this a step further, looking beyond scholarly use of research papers towards a “media impact metric” that can be used to measure societal impact. This certainly makes sense if you consider that the purpose of Science is, after all, to benefit the whole of humanity, and that involves effectively communicating scientific research to the general public through various media. But in a world of information overload and seemingly infinite social media channels, how do you keep track of your work once it’s released into the wider world?

That was the problem that Imperial College London PhD students Ben Kaube and Freddie Witherden set out to solve when they started Newsflo. They developed a tool that helps researchers and academic institutions to measure the wider impact of their work by tracking and analyzing media coverage of their publications and findings. Currently Newsflo tracks over 55,000 English-speaking global media sources and has the technology and network to expand to non-English language media. Newsflo applies this intelligence to mine emerging trends in the academic sector and to provide relevant media alerts.

We aim to keep researchers informed of the media interest in their work, but also to help them raise their profiles, without putting extra demands on their time. Our tool lets institutions showcase the value of their research, and being a part of Elsevier will allow us to integrate our media monitoring technology into researchers’ everyday workflow.  Ben Kaube,  Newsflo Co-founder 

Now that Newsflo has joined the Elsevier family, we will be working to incorporate all these cool features into your Mendeley profile, providing individually customized evidence of the societal impact of your research through media mentions. Also, through the ongoing integration of Mendeley with Elsevier’s existing platforms, Newsflo’s media monitoring feature will become an integrated part of the workflow of all researchers publishing with Elsevier, along with tools such as the article recommender.

It’s increasingly important for researchers and departments to be able to demonstrate societal impact in order to attract students and secure funding. The technology and expertise of the Newsflo founders will be great assets to Elsevier in continuing to advance our portfolio of innovative tools to support institutional leaders and researchers’ workflows and careers. Olivier Dumon, Managing Director of Research Application & Platforms at Elsevier

You’ve seen already some of the benefits that this type of integration can bring, where we brought in features such as the article recommender and those that let you easily export papers from Science Direct or see your Mendeley Readership stats directly from Scopus. Our recently revamped API makes it much easier for all these services, across Elsevier but also 3rd party developers, to integrate with each other. We believe the key to building the best possible user experience for researchers is to seamlessly bring together all the information, content, workflow tools and social/collaboration functionalities that they need, and we’re working hard towards that goal.

It’s also really exciting to welcome these talented young entrepreneurs and work with them to develop some great new features together. Being acquired is an amazing and very challenging journey for a startup, but I think we’ve shown just how many opportunities it can bring, and I’m looking forward to helping Newsflo make the most of it so that their product can be of greatest benefit to the research community. Jan Reichelt, Mendeley President 

Co-founders Victor Henning and Paul Foeckler also stayed on following the acquisition, with Victor remaining as CEO of Mendeley but taking on an additional role as VP of Strategy at Elsevier. He’s currently spearheading innovative collaboration initiatives such as Axon@LeWeb, which brings together the most promising emerging startups in the fields of Science and Research. Paul, meanwhile, is involved in developing a new Elsevier Open Access journal that covers all disciplines, an initiative that promises to make the process of submitting your work for publication much easier and more efficient.

We think these are exciting times indeed, but as always we’d love to hear from you with any thoughts, suggestions, praise or criticism. Leave a comment below or Tweet us at @Mendeley_com

Scopus Now Features Mendeley Readership Stats!

 

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A new feature on Scopus now shows users what the Mendeley readership statistics are for a specific article. The beta version has just gone live last week, and now it’s possible not only to see how many times a paper has been downloaded to a user’s Mendeley library, but also to view a handy breakdown by demographics such as what discipline those researchers belong to, what their academic status is, and their country of origin.

These stats will automatically show up on the Scopus Documents Details pages if at least one Mendeley user has saved the document to their library, together with a link back to the record on Mendeley (if not, then nothing will show up for that document, similar to the way that the Scopus Altmetric.com widget works).

Since 2012, Scopus has shown altmetric.com information, but the added Mendeley demographic breakdown adds another layer to that, giving a much more comprehensive view of an article’s impact, available instantly at a glance.  This means that when trawling through hundreds of abstracts (something that as a PhD student I have to do on a regular basis, so I feel your pain) you can quickly gauge which papers might be most relevant by seeing how many colleagues in your discipline have the document in their Mendeley library.

As well as saving you time, the feature enhances citation metrics because Mendeley readership demonstrates alternative types of academic influence. Research has shown some evidence supporting the fact that Mendeley readership counts correlate to some extent with future citations. On the other hand, the most read article on Mendeley, “How to choose a good scientific problem” (Alon, 2009), with nearly 55 thousand Mendeley readers, only has 5 citations on Scopus. It’s therefore not too unreasonable to think that you’d be in a much better position to make an informed decision about that paper’s impact if given both types of readership stats rather than just the one!

 

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More details are available on the Scopus Blog  and you can also email the Scopus team with your feedback!