Contributing Authors


Plum Analytics will be in San Diego the week of October 20th for the Society of Research Administrators International Annual Meeting. Here is where you can see us:

  • Booth #202
  • Monday, Oct 20, 3:45 pm. Session #x104 “Measuring Your Researchers’ Output with PlumX” with Mike Buschman
  • Wednesday, Oct 22, 11:15 am. Session #W18 “New Ways to Assess Research Impact” with Mike Buschman

We hope to see you in San Diego.

To request more information about Plum Analytics go here.


We just launched a new way for users to see the tweets for their research output, also known as artifacts. This new view is accessible directly from a PlumXTM artifact page and shows all tweets that are publicly accessible in reverse chronological order.

With this new feature, it will be easier for researchers, and the people who support them, to have a one-stop place to understand the impact and conversations about their research happening through Twitter.


Seeing the tweets in context is a great way to see communication about a topic or article unfold over time. For example, the tweets about the discovery of a large-bodied oviraptorosaurian stretched from March to May. And this article on the origin of microbodies in fossil feathers shows the tweets and images they contain from March to September 2014. 

PlumX indicates the total count of all tweets and retweets (from Sept 1, 2012 and ongoing) on the artifact page. The tweet page then displays all of the original tweets about the article. In some cases, there may be tweets that are available only to a Twitter user’s followers. In those cases, we include the tweets in the count, but don’t show them on the PlumX tweet page.

To request more information about Plum Analytics go here.


For Open Access Week, Plum Analytics is hosting a webinar titled “The Feedback Between Open Access & Altmetrics.”

Action, information, reaction, that is the definition of a feedback loop. A feedback loop is an effective tool for changing behavior. The basic premise is simple. Provide people with information about their actions in real time (or something close to it), then give them an opportunity to change those actions, pushing them toward better behaviors. A prime example of a feedback loop in action is the radar-enabled “Your Speed” signs next to speed limit signs. They are a proven method for getting people to slow down.

In recent years mandates for researchers to publish their research – both articles and data – openly are growing. Yet, mandates do not always work; researchers still do not do this. Altmetrics, and the information about how people are interacting with research, can provide the feedback loop needed to help motivate people to publish openly.

In this one-hour webinar, Mike Showalter, PlumX Product Manager from Plum Analytics will describe and demonstrate altmetrics and open access and you will learn about the capabilities of using altmetrics as your own open access feedback loop. There will be time for questions.

To register go here.

To request more information about Plum Analytics go here.

 image                 image

Recently our friends at Autism Speaksthe world’s leading science, research, and advocacy organization for people and families affected by autism, and ORCID, the provider of a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers, did a webinar together describing how funding agencies are using ORCID identifiers in their workflows and systems. 

We enjoyed listening in and learning even more about both organizations.

We want to share a slide that Ed Clayton, Sr. Director for Strategic Funding and Grants Administration, Autism Speaks spoke about. In this slide Clayton describes how Plum Analytics via PlumX, our research impact dashboard, fits into the Autism Speaks workflow to help tell the stories of the impact of the research they fund.


For more information about this webinar go here.

To request more information about PlumX go here.

In honor of the Frankfurt Book Fair this week we want to review the PlumXTM widgets.

The PlumTM Print is an article-level widget that visually changes based upon the metrics in each of the five categories of metrics. Below is an example:


You can read more about the Plum Print in our blog post.

The Plum Print can also be used in a list of articles to quickly identify the differences of impact in them.


In addition to having article-level widgets, PlumX also has researcher widgets. You can use this widget on an author page to show a snapshot of the work and the most recent articles.


Further, PlumX supports a group-level widget. Similar to the author-level widget, the group-level widget shows the output for a group. A group can be any aggregation that makes sense to you. In the example below, we have a journal group. You could use this group widget on a journal page to give readers a snapshot of the journal.


For more information on the researcher and group-level widgets read our recent blog post.

All of these widgets are easy to embed where you want them with a few lines of code. Read about that on our developers page.

If you want to see us in Frankfurt, come to the EBSCO Booth, Hall 4.2 Booth L1.

To request more information about PlumX widgets and everything else PlumX go here.

PlumX now supports IP authentication to enable customers to have more granular control over access to their dashboards and data. IP authentication is one of the most popular methods for controlling access to enterprise applications, especially for customers with a large number of potential endusers that might want or need access without full log-in credentials.

This new feature is another example of Plum Analytics’ commitment to meeting the needs of a diverse set of organizations, large and small. PlumX is designed first to be an enterprise-level application that can serve even the largest organizations, whether a multi-campus university or a multinational corporation.

IP Authentication complements the Shibboleth Authentication giving our enterprise customers security options . You can read about our Shibboleth implementation in a previous blog post.

To request more information about PlumX, go here.


We love the opportunity to meet you and talk about how we approach new ways to assess research impact and scholarly communication. We are taking to the road for the next couple of months to appear at various conferences and meetings. We’d like to meet you. If you are at any of these events, please introduce yourself.

Bibliometrie2014 (Sept. 24 - 26, Regensburg, Germany)

image    This is the 2nd time this International conference has been held. You can hear PlumTM Analytics’ product expert Stephan Buettgen present “Altmetrics in Practice” on 25 September at 11:30.

1:AM Altmetrics Conference (Sept. 25 -26, London, UK)

image     Andrea Michalek, President and Co-Founder, will be on hand to present and moderate sessions. She will also  show our the Plum Analytics poster “Assessing Research Impact: New Metrics & Innovations.”

The Digital Shift (Oct. 1, Online)

image  Stop by the EBSCO booth during this online event to see PlumXTM.

Frankfurt Book Fair (Oct. 8 -12, Frankfurt, Germany)

image  Come to the EBSCO booth in Hall 4.2, Booth L1 and meet Mike Buschman and Stephan Buettgen and talk about PlumX. Email us if you want to set up a meeting.

SRA International (Oct. 18 - 22, San Diego, CA)

image   We are excited about our two presentations at the Society of Research Administrators annual meeting. Mike Buschman, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, will present on Monday, Oct. 20 at 2:00 “Measuring Your Researchers’ Output with PlumX” and on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 11:45 “New Ways to Assess Research Impact.” Also, come to booth #202 to meet us and see a demo of PlumX.

Charleston Conference (Nov. 5 - 8, Charleston, SC)

image  We are participating on a panel titled “Help Your Researchers Get the Credit They Deserve” with Mark Hahnel, founder of figshare and Elaine Westbrook, Associate University Librarian for Research, University of Michigan on Friday, Nov. 7 at 3:15. 

RLUK 2014 (Nov. 12 - 14, Birmingham, UK)

image Come to the Lightning Talk we are doing on 13 November at 15:30 to learn more about PlumX and Plum Analytics.

USKG One-Day Conference (Nov. 20, London, UK)

image   Come to the Lightning Talk on 20 November at 15:30 to hear more about what is going with PlumX and Plum Analytics.

We hope to see you at one of these events. If not, and you would like to get in touch please go here.

With PlumXTM you can track metrics at multiple levels or group. For example, an academic institution might track metrics at:

  • Researcher
  • Lab
  • Department
  • Institution
  • Discipline
  • Subject

These groups are user-definable; each PlumX customer establishes their unique way to analyze research impact.

It is important to see research output information where you need it. With our Researcher Widget, a researcher can include information on their personal or institution pages. Below is an example of a researcher with the University of Pittsburgh.


In addition to seeing this information for an individual researcher, you can see it for any of the groups you define. In the example below, this is the Human Engineering Research Lab at Pitt.


You can see that this widget is for all of the researchers and research output for a given group, in this case a research lab. This would be perfect for the home page of the lab.

The widgets are highly configurable, and you can expand or hide certain sections.  For example, with just a few clicks on our wizard to build the widgets you can turn off many of the sections, and expand the number of artifacts you include.


This will then build a widget with the top 10 artifacts for the same group, and show  PlumTM Prints next to each of them.  This streamlined widget can then be embedded in pages to allow the user to both get a quick visualization of impact, and click through to see detailed metrics.


These new widgets complement our article or artifact level widget the Plum Print. You can read about that on our blog.

It is simple to implement these widgets with a few lines of code.

If you want more information about PlumX go here.

ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.


Once the effort to create ORCID profiles for researchers has been done, you can now easily connect their scholarly activities with PlumXTM to track metrics about their research.

Specifically, PlumX uses the ORCID API to retrieve a list of the researcher’s public works and then uses the information to establish a PlumX researcher profile and gather metrics about the research’s impact. 

"ORCID addresses a problem shared by individuals and organizations across the research community: reliably connecting a researcher with their research, by embedding persistent identifiers into key research workflows. PlumX consumes ORCID-tagged data and provides a presentation layer that researchers can use to see who is using and talking about their research," said Laure Haak, Executive Director of ORCID.

In May, 2014, Plum Analytics was a proud sponsor of the ORCID Spring Outreach Meeting. We participated in the poster session showing our PlumX/ORICD integration. Below is the poster we presented.


What is significant about this integration is that after the ORCID information is integrated into PlumX the metrics about the research is viewable via the PlumX dashboard or through one of the Plum Analytics widgets - group, author and article.


In the future, we plan to create a PlumX profile for every ORCID profile so when you become a PlumX user your researchers with an ORCID profile will automatically be there.

For additional information about our ORCID integration read our press release here.

On July 31, Andrea Michalek, Plum Analytics President and co-founder, presented an hour-long webinar about altmetrics in general and PlumX, our research impact metrics dashboard, in particular.

You can watch that replay on YouTube here;



Pacifica Graduate Institute is an accredited graduate school located in Santa Barbara, CA offering masters and doctoral degree programs framed in the traditions in Depth Psychology. Half of the faculty is actively involved with research, while the other half are scholar practitioners with a focus on their practices.

One of the challenges at Pacifica is that because their faculty are in the social sciences, and a rather esoteric branch, their research does not fit the citation count method of assessing impact. Specifically, they produce a lot of monographs and presentations. They want to be able to showcase this research, but the usual tools would not work.

Alain Dussert, Director of Library Services, said he saw a presentation on altmetrics about a year ago and it opened his mind to the possibilities of tracking influence beyond citation counts. In his words, “Our faculty are esoteric and old school, but they do show up in monographs and YouTube presentations.”  When EBSCO acquired PlumTM Analytics, Dussert saw it as a validation of altmetrics and he seriously started looking at PlumXTM.

Pacifica became a PlumX customer in June, and since then they have loaded most of their faculty researchers and their research output, including monographs and YouTube videos. Dussert states that they have found how well PlumX deals with monographs, “WorldCat holdings are very useful.” First, they now have an easy way to see what libraries hold the monographs their faculty have created. Second, using the OCLC Control Number is a good way to track Pacifica research as not everything they’ve created has an ISBN. 

Below is a monograph published in 2011.



As you can see from the PlumX usage statistics, 45 libraries hold this book. If we investigate further, we can see also that there are 11 readers on Goodreads, and reviews and ratings on Amazon and Goodreads.




Dussert sees many uses of PlumX at Pacifica. For starters, he thinks his admissions department will use it to “show off rock stars to prospective students.” Another use is as a centralized location to show accrediting agencies the research that has been done.

Dussert is looking forward to using PlumX more and more because it is so flexible and can be used for many purposes.

We have hosted periodic webinars titled “Plum Analytics and Our Approach to Altmetrics.” Many people have attended and we have had good feedback. Since these webinars have been held during times that are inconvenient to many, we are offering it live two more times in early September for the rest of the world.

Title: Plum Analytics and Our Approach to Altmetrics
Who: Mike Buschman, Plum Analytics, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer
Date: Thursday, September 4, 2014
Time: 11:00 am, Australia Eastern Standard Time (Sydney, GMT+10:00)
Register here

Title: Plum Analytics and Our Approach to Altmetrics
Who: Andrea Michalek, Plum Analytics, Co-Founder & President
Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm, BST (London, GMT +1:00)
Register here



Plum AnalyticsTM considers books an important research output or artifact, as demonstrated by our use of OCLC WorldCat metrics (see this blog for more information). We are now expanding our support of books with metrics from Goodreads.

Goodreads’ mission is to help people find and share books they love. With over 30 million members and 900 million books, Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. While Goodreads is a force in popular literature, the site also includes many important academic books, especially in humanities and social sciences.

Using the Goodreads API, PlumXTM now includes:

  • Goodreads Ratings
  • Goodreads Reviews
  • Goodreads Readers

Below is a psychology book authored by a researcher with a PlumX profile.


Here are the Captures and Mentions for this book. You can see that this book has 17 Goodreads readers and one review. 


You can click through to see the information at Goodreads.


Additionally, you can see the Goodreads rating (along with Amazon) right in PlumX.


We are excited to keep expanding PlumX with more metrics and more features. Stay tuned to this blog for more information.

imageSanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is a non-profit medical research institute located in La Jolla California and Florida. Sanford-Burnham is one of the seven National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated basic research cancer centers in the United States. Sanford-Burnham has over 80 full-time faculty all with their own labs and over 900 scientific staff members working on research. They have received over 170 NIH grants representing over $90 million in the last five years.

Jennifer Vigil, Librarian at Sanford-Burnham, said that at the same time a lot of people were asking questions about their grants, journal citation reports, and metrics about their publications, they had the opportunity to trial PlumXTM. According to Vigil, they seized the trial opportunity because they were going to have access to metrics that were not available through any of their traditional tools.

Since they implemented, Vigil reports having visibility into new ways people are interacting with their research, for example, Facebook Likes & Shares and capturing articles in Mendeley. Below is an article from Sanford-Burnhman’s PlumX that illustrates what Vigil is talking about. This article was just published in 2014, so has not had time to gather citations. Yet, with PlumX you can tell that there is already usage and social media attention, and 48 people capturing this article in Mendeley. These captures can be good indicators of future citations.


Sanford-Burnham is organized around fourteen programs so they set up their PlumX dashboard by program to see the metrics for each program. Some example programs are:

  • Bioinformatics and Structural Biology
  • Cardiovascular Pathobiology
  • Cell Death & Survival Networks
  • etc.

Within each program they have themes so it can be narrowed down even further. For example within the Bioinformatics and Structural Biology program there are two themes, Structural Bioinformatics/Systems Biology and System Biology of Microbes & Microbiome. They can see the metrics for the program, for both of these themes, as well as metrics for the researchers and their research output in the program.

Below is the first page of the Sanford-Burnham PlumX dashboard where you can see a list of programs. This page also displays the research output and their metrics for the entire organization.


"It’s been fun" says Vigil about implementing PlumX and dealing with the structure and the faculty and seeing metrics emerge as more and more PMIDs were put into the system. 

Taylor & Francis recently published their annual Open Access Survey. This is a survey they conducted of the authors they published during 2012. 


What interested us about the survey were the responses concerning usage statistics.


Sixty percent of the respondents said that usage and download statistics will become important for assessing the value of research over the next ten years. Only 12% said that they would not be important. While citations still rank (81%) as the most important way for assessing the value of research in the coming decade, it is clear that more and more authors are seeing the importance of the new ways people interact with and use research.

At PlumTM Analytics, we see this survey as validation of our view of altmetrics, or rather ALLmetrics since the definition of altmetrics does not include usage, nor do most altmetric providers.

When we developed PlumXTM there was growing attention to the role social media was playing in scholarly communications. We knew that Twitter, Facebook and others were becoming a big part of research promotion, and subsequently important to measure. But, we also knew that there were lots of other metrics that are important in understanding the impact of research. We set out to gather as many of those metrics as we could and categorize them in a meaningful way for clearer understanding. We wrote about this categorization in a previous blog.

One of those categories is Usage.

image   PlumX categorizes  a lot of activity in Usage including, Downloads, Views, Holdings and Video Plays.

Recently, we added usage statistics from EBSCO Databases, eBooks and EBSCO Discovery Service. You can read about this in more detail on our blog. By including this amount of usage across publishers, PlumX gives you a good proxy of the usage of articles and other research output.

Plum Analytics also makes it easy to show usage to your authors in your open access repositories.

image If you embed the PlumTM Print widget into your repository you can show your authors usage and other altmetric information. You can read more about the Plum Print in this blog post.

We can also include the usage statistics of the repository itself. That is exactly what some of our customers are doing. See this blog for more details and see this example below.


We are excited that we can help authors of Open Access articles assess the value of their research.