Monday, April 02, 2012
A month ago I drafted a post about personal impact metrics, spurred on by Amber Thomas coining the term "Pimpact". At the time, I'd been playing with totalImpact to compare it with my current repository metrics (and I was underwhelmed), so I had a fiddle with ReaderMeter (equally unimpressed).
At that point I stopped and thought I'd let these services settle down a bit before posting about them, but that's now been rendered moot by the excellent summary just published by the SURF foundation:
Users, narcissism and control – tracking the impact of scholarly publications in the 21st century
What is the scientific and social impact of my research publications? This question has been of interest to scientists and scholars since the inception of modern science 400 years ago. But it was hard to answer. This may now be changing. Scholarship is transforming into a variety of digital networked forms. These developments have created new possibilities and challenges in the evaluation of the quality of research. This is of interest to research funders assessing the quality of research. It is also relevant to the individual researchers interested in assessing their career development. This report explores the explosion of tracking tools that have accompanied the surge of web based information instruments. Is it possible to monitor ‘real-time’ how new research findings are being read, cited, used and transformed in practical results and applications? And what are the potential risks and disadvantages of the new tracking tools? This report aims to contribute to a better understanding of these developments by providing a detailed assessment of the currently available novel tools and methodologies. A total of 16 quite different tools are assessed.
The verdict coincides with my own experience - we've got some way to go in this area yet.