Today we are announcing the release of Academia.edu’s Analytics Dashboard, a feature that was previously in beta. Academia.edu’s Analytics Dashboard allows academics to view the real-time impact of their research.
A big trend right now in science is that scientific content is moving from having been historically in paper form to now being created natively for the web. One key advantage of the web is that it speeds up the distribution of scientific ideas. Over the last few years, as scientists have increasingly taken to sharing their research on the web, there has been no way for them to measure the impact of their online influence.
Increasingly, the primary consumption experience for scientific content is the web, and yet scientists have not generally been aware of the metrics around this consumption. If you ask a Harvard biology professor with 200 publications how many downloads she experienced in the last 30 days, typically she will not know.
Academia.edu’s Analytics Dashboard is changing this. It allows an academic to understand in sophisticated detail how their research is being used by the academic community. It shows them countries that are sending them the most traffic, search engines and other sites that are sending them the most traffic, and overall profile views and document views.
Academic credit is an enormous factor in driving academic funding decisions, hiring decisions, and generally the behavior of academics. Consumption of content is increasingly happening on the web, and Academia.edu’s Analytics Dashboard helps academics measure the impact of their research right where it’s being consumed.
At Academia.edu we believe there are two key characteristics to the future of science:
- instant distribution
- rich media
Instant distribution is about getting scientific ideas distributed around the world instantly. Currently there is a 12-month time-lag between submitting a paper to a journal, and the paper being published. We need to accelerate the scientific conversation by removing that 12-month time lag. Academia.edu’s Analytics Dashboard helps an academic see the benefits of sharing their research instantly.
Rich media is about moving beyond the PDF. Scientists almost exclusively share their research in the format of a PDF. The reason scientists don’t share data sets, code, videos, or other kinds of media is that they don’t get credit for sharing them, as historically there has been no way to measure the scientific impact of these scientific media. Academia.edu’s Analytics Dashboard is changing that by enabling scientists to get credit for a wider range of research media.
“One can glean from Academia.edu stats new ways of conceptualizing research impact,” said Tim Ritchie, lecturer, University of Limerick. “When I was being considered for a promotion, my Academia.edu stats demonstrated to members of our promotion committee that what they helped fund — and the work we produce from such funding — actually gets searched for, read, and printed. Knowing that people outside my own network of international collaborators actually read our work intrigues and inspires me.”
“When I first discovered Academia.edu, I found exactly what I needed: a space where I could upload my CV, my papers, and a small description of myself, then build a network of like-minded people,” said Vlad Glaveanu, associate professor, University of Aalborg. “With the Analytics Dashboard, I’ve noticed that there is increasing interest in my field of research, which gives me motivation and constant feedback. Having insight into the overall number of views is quite useful because it’s that immediate feedback which we typically lack in the academic world.
As academics get used to knowing the real-time metrics around their research, they will never go back. Real-time metrics around distribution will be, from this point onwards, a permanent feature of the scientific process.
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