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8 things librarians want to know about My Research Dashboard

Apr 20, 2015

My Research Dashboard

My Research Dashboard is a free service to Elsevier authors that will allow them to understand how their publications are being read, shared and cited within days of being published. It will eventually replace CiteAlerts and Article Usage Alerts.

In the April 16, 2015, webinar Building professional identity: from research to impact, Elsevier's Wouter Haak discussed the genesis of My Research Dasboard and its implications for researchers in terms of helping them be more effective earlier and reducing the time and effort required to monitor their impact. Below Wouter answers questions posed by librarians during the presentation.

#1    Many tools measure research impact. How is My Research Dashboard different?

At the moment there are many tools that measure research impact. Most of these are based on the number of citations. We believe that citations are a good metric, but that a set of well rounded metrics is better. So this is why we are including "readership" and "researcher sharing" among the metrics in My Research Dashboard, next to citations. (This is also the case with SciVal, an institutional tool for research performance assessment.) Other tools try to add altmetrics to citations, but so far these are mostly non-researcher based metrics (e.g., Twitter, Facebook). We do not believe that those metrics are "hard" enough to truly measure research impact; however, they do help to form a broader picture.
I personally believe that it would help to combine the metrics from more publisher and sharing platforms together. There are initiatives underway to accomplish this. Elsevier strongly supports the distributed logging initiatives from COUNTER and CrossRef, because they would accomplish exactly that.

#2    Do some of these measures track popularity rather than quality/value? 

These metrics track both popularity and quality. Popularity among other researchers is generally an indication of article or author quality. We actually believe that a single metric is not good for assessing the impact of a researcher. A combination of metrics gives a better (well rounded) view of researchers and the impact of their research, and these metrics will differ per field. 
#3    Do researchers need to register to obtain access to My Research Dashboard? 

Yes they do, and they will be invited to register via email. We believe it should be the author’s choice to decide what metrics to expose and to whom.

#4    When will My Research Dashboard be available?
We are gradually rolling out the system, which is in beta, and plan to have access for all researchers within a year. We will announce on Library Connect as we reach certain milestones.

#5     Can a librarian try My Research Dashboard?

We are creating demo accounts. These will be available in June so check back here for more information. As Carol Tenopir mentioned in her presentation from the ebooklet Librarians Do Research Too, I would also encourage librarians to publish and thus become eligible for their own My Research Dashboard.

#6    Are there plans for an institutional view as well as an individual researcher view?
We are looking into building a dashboard specifically for librarians — not per author, but per institution to give them a view of what’s happening on a meta level. 

#7    You mentioned that you include statistics from other publishers where possible. How does this work? 
Currently we get anonymized statistics from Scopus and Mendeley, which include publications from other publishers. Later on we will include information from ClinicalKey, and we are talking to platforms like PubMed, PMC and others about sharing. Also, COUNTER and CrossRef are developing a standard.

#8    Where can I find more information about My Research Dashboard?

You can find a more detailed overview on the Elsevier website and FAQs addressed to authors.