A story in Nature discusses a recent paper (preprint) from CNetS members Jasleen Kaur, Filippo Radicchi and Fil Menczer on the universality of scholarly impact metrics. In the paper, we present a method to quantify the disciplinary bias of any scholarly impact metric. We use the method to evaluate a number of established scholarly impact metrics. We also introduce a simple universal metric that allows to compare the impact of scholars across scientific disciplines. Mohsen JafariAsbagh integrated this metric into Scholarometer, a crowdsourcing system developed by our group to collect and share scholarly impact data. The Nature story highlight how one can use normalized impact metrics to rank all scholars, as illustrated in the widget shown here.
Scholarometer is becoming a more mature tool. The idea behind scholarometer — crowdsourcing scholarly data — was presented at the Web Science 2010 Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, along with some promising preliminary results. Recently acquired functionality includes a Chrome version, percentile calculations for all impact measures, export of bibliographic data in various standard formats, heuristics to determine reliable tags and detect ambiguous names, etc. Next up: an API to share annotation and impact data, and an interactive visualization for the interdisciplinary network.
CNetS graduate student Diep Thi Hoang and associate director Filippo Menczer have developed a tool (called Scholarometer, previously Tenurometer in beta version) for evaluating the impact of scholars in their field. Scholarometer uses the h-index, which combines the scholarly output with the influence of the work, but adds the universal h-index proposed by Radicchi et al. to compare the impact of research in different disciplines. This is enabled by a social mechanism in which users of the tool collaborate to tag the disciplines of the scholars. “We have computer scientists, physicists, social scientists, people from many different backgrounds, who publish in lots of different areas,” says Menczer. However, the various communities have different citation methods and different publishing traditions, making it difficult to compare the influence of a sociologist and a computer scientist, for example. The universal h-index controls for differences in the publishing traditions, as well as the amount of research scholars in various fields have to produce to make an impact. Menczer is especially excited about the potential to help show how the disciplines are merging into one another. More from Inside Higher Ed… (Also picked up by ACM TechNews and CACM.)