I believe that we seriously need a set of new metrics for scholarly publication. It should be multidimensional and one of these should be accesses. [Yes, I know it's possible to game the system. Everything can be gamed. The only thing that can't is scientific reality, but that's increasingly irrelevant to academia]. So here is my contribution to access-metrics.
Our special issue of "Visions of a Semantic (molecular) Future" in J. Cheminformatics (BiomedCentral) has now been out for a month. Since BMC publish the article accesses for each article (a) confidentially to the author and (b) publicly for the highest accessed articles each month I can start to do some simple analysis. (I'm only missing one author, Cameron Neylon).
Here are the stats, after exactly one month (October 14th -> Nov 14th). The actual stats are for a window of 30 days.
2639 Accesses Openness as infrastructure
John Wilbanks Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:36 (14 October 2011)
1185 Accesses Open Bibliography for Science, Technology, and Medicine Richard Jones, Mark MacGillivray, Peter Murray-Rust, Jim Pitman, Peter Sefton, Ben O'Steen, William Waites Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:47 (14 October 2011)
1018 Accesses Semantic science and its communication - a personal view Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:48 (14 October 2011)
936 Accesses Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards in chemistry: The Blue Obelisk five years on Noel M O'Boyle, Rajarshi Guha, Egon L Willighagen, Samuel E Adams, Jonathan Alvarsson, Jean-Claude Bradley, Igor V Filippov, Robert M Hanson, Marcus D Hanwell, Geoffrey R Hutchison, Craig A James, Nina Jeliazkova, Andrew SID Lang, Karol M Langner, David C Lonie, Daniel M Lowe, Jérôme Pansanel, Dmitry Pavlov, Ola Spjuth, Christoph Steinbeck, Adam L Tenderholt, Kevin J Theisen, Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:37 (14 October 2011)
822 Accesses Ami - The chemist's amanuensis Brian J Brooks, Adam L Thorn, Matthew Smith, Peter Matthews, Shaoming Chen, Ben O'Steen, Sam E Adams, Joe A Townsend, Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:45 (14 October 2011)
681 Accesses The past, present and future of Scientific discourse Henry S Rzepa Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:46 (14 October 2011)
531 Accesses OSCAR4: a flexible architecture for chemical text-mining David M Jessop, Sam E Adams, Egon L Willighagen, Lezan Hawizy, Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:41 (14 October 2011)
429 Accesses CML: Evolution and design Peter Murray-Rust, Henry S Rzepa Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:44 (14 October 2011)
420 Accesses Mining chemical information from open patents David M Jessop, Sam E Adams, Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:40 (14 October 2011)
313 Accesses The semantics of Chemical Markup Language (CML): dictionaries and conventions Peter Murray-Rust, Joe A Townsend, Sam E Adams, Weerapong Phadungsukanan, Jens Thomas Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:43 (14 October 2011)
280 Accesses The Quixote project: Collaborative and Open Quantum Chemistry data management in the Internet age Sam Adams, Pablo de Castro, Pablo Echenique, Jorge Estrada, Marcus D Hanwell, Peter Murray-Rust, Paul Sherwood, Jens Thomas, Joe Townsend Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:38 (14 October 2011)
265 Accesses Adventures in public data Dan W Zaharevitz Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:34 (14 October 2011)
^^^ cut-off of top 25 papers this month ^^^
264 Accesses CMLLite: a design philosophy for CML Joe A Townsend, Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:39 (14 October 2011)
263 Accesses The semantic architecture of the World-Wide Molecular Matrix (WWMM)
Peter Murray-Rust, Sam E Adams, Jim Downing, Joe A Townsend, Yong Zhang Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:42 (14 October 2011)
??? Accesses Three stories about the conduct of science: Past, future, and present Cameron Neylon Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:35 (14 October 2011)
=== and a previously-published article ===
ChemicalTagger: A tool for semantic text-mining in chemistry
Lezan Hawizy*, David M Jessop*, Nico Adams and Peter Murray-Rust Journal of Cheminformatics 2011, 3:17 doi:10.1186/1758-2946-3-17 (This has been out for several months and is noted as "Highly Accessed")
Total 10063 for 15 papers in 1 initial month == ca 20 accesses per day per paper
So what conclusions?
- Clearly the figures aren't random, or created solely by bots (I joked about the "wilbots", but I am sure these are real people reading John's article. There were about 50 tweets mentioning this article so people wanted other people to know about it.
- The top articles are not significantly about chemistry. So it doesn't matter where material is published. This is a really important message. If you have something to say, then people will find it.
- A LOT of people read Open Access material. Note that after 14 days the articles were also available on Pubmed so we probably double the figures.
- I can't believe that these papers would have been nearly so widely read in the – effective Closed competitor – J. Chem. Inf. And Modeling. We have also had high readership there – OPSIN paper was "highly accessed" but I have no figures. But I suspect that only a small fraction of the current readership would have access. So closed access publication constrains innovation and constrains multidisciplinarity.
Egon writes in a comment:
Peter, why not give Total Impact a try… click the 'Manually edit this collection' link in the left menu under 'Collect IDs from:' and add the DOIs for those papers, and hit the red 'Get Metrics' button…
PMR: I don't get anything back that makes sense… Nor do I know how to add PMIDs instead of DOIs