Monday 17 August 2015

ALPSP Awards Spotlight on… Bookmetrix from Altmetric and Springer

Martijn Roelandse
In the fifth of the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing finalists' posts Martijn Roelandse Springer's Manager for Publishing Innovation and Euan Adie, Founder of Altmetric and fellow co-developer of Bookmetrix, talk about how they worked to launch the product.

Tell us a bit about both companies and how this collaboration came about.

As a large publisher of STM content, with a current catalogue of over 194,000 books, Springer is always keen to offer further services for our authors and editors - in particular in relation to the insight into the attention, use and impact of their titles.

Altmetric are a data science company based in London. Founded in 2011, Altmetric made it their mission to track and analyse the online activity around scholarly literature, and today supply data via their distinctive ‘donut’ badges and platforms to many of the world’s leading publishers, funders and institutions.

Euan Adie
The idea for this project was originally conceived at Springer, who wanted to find new ways to offer added value and additional feedback to the authors and readers of their extensive book content.

In addition, Springer also wanted to offer their editorial and marketing teams an easier way of tracking the reach and impact of their publishing portfolio, and were keen to offer further insight than download and citation counts alone would be able to provide.

Having first established a relationship Altmetric in 2011 with the adoption of the Altmetric API for all of their journal articles, Springer were familiar with the Altmetric team and felt there would be a shared approach and understanding of what the project was trying to achieve.

What is the project that you submitted for the Awards?

We submitted Bookmetrix - the first platform of its kind to help authors, editors, publishers and readers to track the broader impacts of a book or chapter once it’s published. The project encompassed two parts; public-facing details pages, which are now accessible via the metrics displayed on every SpringerLink book page, and the Bookmetrix search interface - a database which Springer staff can use to browse and filter the metrics across their book portfolio.

Tell us more about how it works and the team behind it.

Bookmetrix was built as a partnership between Altmetric and Springer - regular meetings between the two groups (comprising project leaders, product managers, and developers) ensured that we agreed goals and concept early on. The aim was to offer authors and readers a totally new way to see and understand the impact of their work and to help set a new standard for monitoring and reporting the activity surrounding a book post publication. To achieve this, we worked to pull in mentions and other online activity relating to each book or chapter from a variety of different sources - including downloads, citations, book reviews, public policy, mainstream media coverage and social media shares.

The data was then surfaced via the details pages - where users can see a summary of the mentions of the whole book, and dig down to view the mentions for each chapter and the original comments from each source. The details pages can be accessed via the SpringerLink platform and via the search interface (by Springer staff).

Why do you think it demonstrates publishing innovation?

Bookmetrix is the first platform of it’s kind to bring together such a valuable mixture of traditional and non-traditional indicators of broader impact and influence for books and individual chapters. Such measures are increasingly important for authors who are asked by funders or institutional management to demonstrate the influence of their work - and are particularly valuable for those who do not chose to publish journal articles (which often bring the most credit) as their main form of research output.

As well as offering this additional insight, Bookmetrix has demonstrated the value that can be found in publishers combining their objectives with the technical and domain expertise of an external partner.

What are your plans for the future?

The scope of Bookmetrix is wider than existing initiatives in the market: it covers substantially more books and goes beyond pure citation data. Bookmetrix fits in Springer’s ambition to drive more industry-wide initiatives to support the work of authors and researchers.

The winner of the ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing, sponsored by Publishing Technology, will be announced at the ALPSP Conference. Book now to secure your place.

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