Zoom-Enhance: Identifying Trends in Article-Level Metrics

In late December 2013, PLOS ONE published an article from UK-based Psychologists Rob Jenkins and Christie Kerr titled “Identifiable Images of Bystanders Extracted from Corneal Reflections”. Using high-resolution photography, Jenkins, from the University of York, and Kerr, from the University … Continue reading »

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Fun(d) with Science

Many researchers will tell you that financing their work–writing grants, securing funding, and budgeting for varying funding levels year to year–is the least rewarding part of life in academia, but there’s no escaping the simple fact that science costs money. … Continue reading »

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At Year’s End: Staff Editors’ Favorite PLOS ONE Articles of 2014

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2014 has been an exciting year for PLOS ONE. We saw the journal reach a milestone, publishing its 100,000th article. PLOS ONE also published thousands of new research articles this year, including some ground-breaking discoveries, as well as some unexpected … Continue reading »

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Let Me Count the Ways: Top 20 PLOS ONE Articles Based on Article-Level Metrics for 2014

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At PLOS ONE, we’ve been compiling year-end lists to reflect on the most popular articles and research videos published in our journal. But this year, we also wanted to compile an alternative list, based on article-level metrics (ALMs*), a collection … Continue reading »

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“Low T” and Prescription Testosterone: Public Viewing of the Science Does Matter

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Winter Service Update

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As we head into winter and as the holiday festivities begin, we wanted to let our authors know in advance that they may experience a slight delay in the peer review process of their manuscript if they submit anytime between now and the end of the year. This is because many of our academic editors and external referees will be out of the office at some point during the holiday season.

Despite many people being on vacation, the work of the journal continues and so we will endeavor to ensure that all manuscripts submitted to PLOS ONE are evaluated as quickly as possible, but please accept our advance apologies for any delays you experience.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit the following links for information and answers to some of our common questions. For anything not covered here, please contact us at plosone@plos.org and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Image: Emily’s Snowman Cookies by Ralph Daily

PLOS ONE’s New Look: Redesigned for Discovery

The PLOS Product and Development teams are constantly working to enhance the web experience for authors, editors, and readers. Today, we’re unveiling the latest update to PLOS ONE. Here’s an overview of what’s new:

Navigate Faster with Figures
The PLOS ONE home page now features a new way to discover and explore the latest research. Instead of seeing a list of articles, you’ll see a grid of articles each presented with a key figure. Hover over the figure for one-click access to the article’s abstract, figures, or full text.
home Subject Area Browsing
We’ve introduced a brand new way to navigate the research that PLOS ONE publishes across the entire spectrum of subject areas. Dive in by clicking “Subject Areas” at the top of every page. Once you find your preferred topic, click “View all articles” to get to one of our new subject-specific browse pages.
browseThese new pages feature a grid just like the home page, sortable by most recent or most popular allowing you to easily navigate all of PLOS ONE’s research articles. If you prefer, you can switch to a more traditional list of articles. If the subject area you’re browsing isn’t quite what you’re looking for, click the arrow to the left of the subject header to navigate one level up or down our taxonomy.
navIf you’ve found the right subject area for your research, you can click the mail icon to sign up for a weekly email alert for that subject area, or the RSS icon to subscribe to that feed.
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As always, the article page gives you one-click access to the Article Level Metrics (ALMs), author information, comments, and related content.

More to Come
You can expect ongoing improvements to the PLOS ONE web experience. As always, we’ll be looking to the community for feedback and suggestions. Feel free to leave a us a comment below.

PLOS ONE – Measuring Article Impact

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A common misconception of PLOS ONE is that just because we don’t consider perceived impact or novelty when deciding what to publish, doesn’t mean we don’t care about the impact of articles we publish. We of course understand that some papers are more impactful than others. That’s why we’re committed to developing new tools that realistically and unbiasedly evaluate how our papers shape their fields.

The number of citations an article collects offers one perspective on how the work has influenced its field, and is one of the many diverse measures that PLOS Article-Level Metrics provide to help the community measure article impact (others include usage and social sharing).

We recently plotted all citations to every PLOS ONE paper published in 2010 (thanks to our ALM guru Martin Fenner, and to Scopus for the data in the graph above)

The graph tells an interesting story about the range of papers published in PLOS ONE, showing that, from ground-breaking, highly-cited research to small studies that appeal to niche audiences, the journal really is for all of science. But another important thing that arose from this analysis was how much the variability in citations came from the range of subjects we publish. Fields like cell biology are huge and well-funded, with thousands of research groups around the world publishing tens of thousands of papers, while others such as ophthalmology are quite small, with only a few groups actively publishing research. All those extra cell biology papers mean lots of extra citations for the whole field, so papers in this area receive many more citations overall compared to ophthalmology, where only a few hundred papers are published each year.

The catch-all nature of journal metrics, such as the Impact Factor, means that PLOS ONE is considered a ‘top journal’ in the field of ophthalmology, as its Impact Factor is higher than any specialist journal in that field, whereas in the cell biology world we are ‘mid-level’. To address this discrepancy between fields, PLOS now includes relative metrics on all our papers, so readers can see the activity around a paper (just page views so far) relative to others in its field. As a result, you can see at the article level the impact of specific research on its field.

My feeling is that PLOS ONE has a wider citation distribution than most other journals, although I haven´t seen their data to say for certain (I would love for more journals to start displaying their full citation data!). But while it’s great to see a good number of PLOS ONE papers receiving very high numbers of citations, I think the more notable achievement is that we really are publishing all kinds of research, regardless of its estimated impact, and letting the community decide what is worthy of citation. With the usual flurry of Impact Factor announcements due to start any day now, it’s a good time to remember that it is the papers, not the journals they´re published in, that make the impact.

Graph: This is a kernel density estimation of citation distribution rather than actual numbers, hence the fact that it looks like some papers have received fewer than zero citations (credit Martin Fenner)