Towards societal impact through open research | Springer Nature | For Researchers | Springer Nature

“Open research is fundamentally changing the way that researchers communicate and collaborate to advance the pace and quality of discovery. New and dynamic open research-driven workflows are emerging, thus increasing the findability, accessibility, and reusability of results. Distribution channels are changing too, enabling others — from patients to businesses, to teachers and policy makers — to increasingly benefit from new and critical insights. This in turn has dramatically increased the societal impact of open research. But what remains less clear is the exact nature and scope of this wider impact as well as the societal relevance of the underpinning research….”


Gold Open Access research has greater societal impact as used more outside of academia | Corporate Affairs Homepage | Springer Nature

“What impact does open research have on society and progressing global societal challenges?  The latest results of research carried out between Springer Nature, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and the Dutch University Libraries and the National Library consortium (UKB), illustrates a substantial advantage for content published via the Gold OA route where research is immediately and freely accessible.

Since the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were launched in 2015, researchers, their funders and other collaborative partnerships have sought to explore the impact and contribution of open research on SDG development. However – until now – it has been challenging to map, and therefore identify, emerging trends and best practice for the research and wider community. Through a bibliometric analysis of nearly 360,000 documents published in 2017 and a survey of nearly 6,000 readers on Springer Nature websites, the new white paper, Open for All, Exploring the Reach of Open Access Content to Non-Academic Audiences shows not only the effects of content being published OA but more importantly who that research is reaching.”

[2011.09079] Do ‘altmetric mentions’ follow Power Laws? Evidence from social media mention data in

Abstract:  Power laws are a characteristic distribution that are ubiquitous, in that they are found almost everywhere, in both natural as well as in man-made systems. They tend to emerge in large, connected and self-organizing systems, for example, scholarly publications. Citations to scientific papers have been found to follow a power law, i.e., the number of papers having a certain level of citation x are proportional to x raised to some negative power. The distributional character of altmetrics has not been studied yet as altmetrics are among the newest indicators related to scholarly publications. Here we select a data sample from the altmetrics aggregator this http URL containing records from the platforms Facebook, Twitter, News, Blogs, etc., and the composite variable Alt-score for the period 2016. The individual and the composite data series of ‘mentions’ on the various platforms are fit to a power law distribution, and the parameters and goodness of fit determined using least squares regression. The log-log plot of the data, ‘mentions’ vs. number of papers, falls on an approximately linear line, suggesting the plausibility of a power law distribution. The fit is not very good in all cases due to large fluctuations in the tail. We show that fit to the power law can be improved by truncating the data series to eliminate large fluctuations in the tail. We conclude that altmetric distributions also follow power laws with a fairly good fit over a wide range of values. More rigorous methods of determination may not be necessary at present.


Visualizing Altmetric data with VOSviewer – Altmetric

“Visualizations can make data come alive, uncover new insights and capture the imagination in a way that a spreadsheet never can.

Join Mike Taylor, Data Insights & Customer Analytics at Altmetric, and Fabio Gouveia, Public Health Technologist at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil, for a demonstration of the exciting ways in which you can create compelling stories to explain the broader impact of academic work using the free-to-download VOSviewer from CWTS Leiden and data from Altmetric.

This actionable webinar will include an introduction to creating network diagrams with VOSviewer with your own data, extracting data from Altmetric tools and adapting it to be imported….”

Full article: Pharmaceutical industry-authored preprints: scientific and social media impact


Aim: Non–peer-reviewed manuscripts posted as preprints can be cited in peer-reviewed articles which has both merits and demerits. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines mandate authors to declare preprints at the time of manuscript submission. We evaluated the trends in pharma-authored research published as preprints and their scientific and social media impact by analyzing citation rates and altmetrics.

Research design and methods: We searched EuroPMC, PrePubMed bioRxiv and MedRxiv for preprints submitted by authors affiliated with the top 50 pharmaceutical companies from inception till June 15, 2020. Data were extracted and analyzed from the search results. The number of citations for the preprint and peer-reviewed versions (if available) were compiled using the Publish or Perish software (version 1.7). Altmetric score was calculated using the “Altmetric it” online tool. Statistical significance was analyzed by Wilcoxon rank-sum test.

Results: A total of 498 preprints were identified across bioRxiv (83%), PeerJ (5%), F1000Research (6%), Nature Proceedings (3%), (3%), Wellcome Open Research preprint (0.2%) and MedRxiv (0.2%) servers. Roche, Sanofi and Novartis contributed 56% of the retrieved preprints. The median number of citations for the included preprints was 0 (IQR =1, Min-Max =0-45). The median number of citations for the published preprints and unpublished preprints was 0 for both (IQR =1, Min-Max =0-25 and IQR =1, Min-Max =0-45, respectively; P?=?.091). The median Altmetric score of the preprints was 4 (IQR =10.5, Min-Max =0-160).

Conclusion: Pharma-authored research is being increasingly published as preprints and is also being cited in other peer-reviewed publications and discussed in social media.

An altmetric attention advantage for open access books in the humanities and social sciences | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The last decade has seen two significant phenomena emerge in research communication: the rise of open access (OA) publishing, and the easy availability of evidence of online sharing in the form of altmetrics. There has been limited examination of the effect of OA on online sharing for journal articles, and little for books. This paper examines the altmetrics of a set of 32,222 books (of which 5% are OA) and a set of 220,527 chapters (of which 7% are OA) indexed by the scholarly database Dimensions in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Both OA books and chapters have significantly higher use on social networks, higher coverage in the mass media and blogs, and evidence of higher rates of social impact in policy documents. OA chapters have higher rates of coverage on Wikipedia than their non-OA equivalents, and are more likely to be shared on Mendeley. Even within the Humanities and Social Sciences, disciplinary differences in altmetric activity are evident. The effect is confirmed for chapters, although sampling issues prevent the strong conclusion that OA facilitates extra attention at the whole book level, the apparent OA altmetrics advantage suggests that the move towards OA is increasing social sharing and broader impact.


The changing role of funders in responsible research assessment: progress, obstacles and the way ahead

“Encouraging interim results of different vaccine trials reflect the speed, innovation and dedication that the research community has shown in its response to Covid-19. But the pandemic has also shone a spotlight on the inner workings of research, and in lots of ways—good and bad—has intensified scrutiny of how research is funded, practiced, disseminated and evaluated, and how research cultures can be made more open, inclusive and impactful.


The uncertain possibilities that flow from this moment follow a period in which concern has intensified over several long-standing problems, all linked to research assessment. As attention shifts from describing these problems, towards designing and implementing solutions, efforts are coalescing around the idea of responsible research assessment (RRA). This is an umbrella term for approaches to assessment which incentivise, reflect and reward the plural characteristics of high-quality research, in support of diverse and inclusive research cultures.

This working paper explores what RRA is, and where it comes from, by outlining fifteen initiatives that have influenced the content, shape and direction of current RRA debates. It goes on to describe some of the responses that these have elicited, with a particular focus on the role and contribution of research funders, who have more freedom and agency to experiment and drive change than many of the other actors in research systems.

The paper also presents the findings of a new survey of RRA policies and practices in the participant organisations of the Global Research Council (GRC)—most of which are national public funding agencies—with responses from 55 organisations worldwide….”

Home – Responsible Research Assessment – a virtual conference from the Global Research Council

“Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of international collaboration in research and innovation. The impact of research has become ever more apparent during the pandemic, and so there is a renewed urgency for funders to come together and reconsider how research is assessed and evaluated. 

At the GRC Responsible Research Assessment Conference 2020, participants will be invited to consider the existing sector-wide frameworks on responsible research assessment and have a global discussion on how funders can drive a positive research culture through research assessment criteria and processes. The discussions will reflect on how to support a diverse, inclusive and thriving research sector….”

A pivotal moment for responsible research assessment – Research Professional News

“We’ve been involved in diagnosing, assembling evidence and banging drums about these problems, through initiatives such as the Declaration on Research Assessment (Dora), the Metric Tide report and the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics.

So we welcome signs that attention is shifting towards implementing solutions, and coalescing around a more expansive agenda for responsible research assessment (RRA). Early debates on metrics and measurement have expanded to encompass questions about how to create a healthy work culture for researchers, how to promote research integrity, how to move from closed to open scholarship, and how to embed the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion across the research community.

This more holistic approach can be seen, for example, in UK Research and Innovation’s commitment to a healthy research culture, and in the recent guidelines on good research practice from the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Next week’s Global Research Council virtual conference on RRA—hosted by UKRI in ?collaboration with the UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics and South Africa’s National Research Foundation—comes at a pivotal time….

Declarations and statements of principle have been an important part of this story. But even though we have co-authored some of these, we feel the time for grand declarations has passed. They risk becoming substitutes for action.

RRA now needs to focus on action and implementation—testing and identifying what works in building a healthy and productive research culture. Institutional commitments must be followed by the hard graft of reforming cultures, practices and processes….”

If I tweet will you cite later? Follow-up on the effect of social media exposure on article downloads and citations | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Objectives

We previously reported that random assignment of scientific articles to a social media exposure intervention did not have an effect on article downloads and citations. In this paper, we investigate whether longer observation time after exposure to a social media intervention has altered the previously reported results.


For articles published in the International Journal of Public Health between December 2012 and December 2014, we updated article download and citation data for a minimum of 24-month follow-up. We re-analysed the effect of social media exposure on article downloads and citations.


There was no difference between intervention and control group in terms of downloads (p?=?0.72) and citations (p=?0.30) for all papers and when we stratified by open access status.


Longer observation time did not increase the relative differences in the numbers of downloads and citations between papers in the social media intervention group and papers in the control group. Traditional impact metrics based on citations, such as impact factor, may not capture the added value of social media for scientific publications.