Assessing Scholarly Impact

My good friend and former colleague, Andrea Michalek, and her co-founder, Mike Buschman, have recently launched Plum Analytics, an altmetrics company, with the aim of “making scholarly research more assessable and accessible.” Think of it as Publish or Perish meets Peer Index or Klout. In short, Plum hopes to provide reputation and influence ratings for academic researchers.

The two co-founders met while leading the development of Summon, an online search engine for libraries. “I oversaw tech and Mike oversaw product,” said Michalek. “In about three-and-a-half years we went from the business plan to a $15 million business.”

At this point the service is in Alpha, meaning demonstrations are by appointment only. But already Plum Analytics is generating buzz and lining up university customers on the heals of its demo at Philly Tech Meetup. Initally, Plum Analytics does two things…

First, it aggregates all the content a researcher has published, such as papers indexed at Google Scholar and SSRN, slideshows, and blog posts. According to Michalek, “We gather from fourteen different sources, including Facebook, CiteULike, LinkedIn and Wikipedia.”


Second, it visualizes the impact of all that content, by analyzing how many responses or link backs each particular content item has received.


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