Charlie Rapple
Charlie Rapple
Co-founder, Kudos

184829767_294659813_294659814_256224451.jpgAlmost 18 months ago, I wrote a post for this blog about Kudos, then a pilot service to help researchers and their publishers increase the reach and impact of publications. The pilot was a success, with basic analysis indicating that downloads of full text were 19% higher for publications explained and shared using the Kudos toolkit. The service launched fully in April 2014, and to date has attracted over 35,000 researchers and 35 publisher partners – including Wiley, whose own experimentation with Kudos in 2014 resulted in encouraging indications of the effect that Kudos can have on reach and impact.

A number of developments have helped to improve the service since launch, for example, our integration with ORCID , which makes registration and claiming easier for authors that already have ORCIDs. We’re also now piloting an institutional service, which will give staff in roles such as research development planning and communications insight into which research and researchers are attracting attention, and which activities and channels are proving effective.

The Kudos workflow for researchers involves 4 basic steps:


    • Explaining: adding plain language descriptions of what the work is about and why it is important. This makes it easier for readers to quickly evaluate its relevance to their own work, and also makes it more accessible to non-specialist readers, or readers of a different native language.


    • Enriching: adding links to related resources that support the work or set it in context. These bring the work to life (for example, with links to multimedia, or ongoing studies) and demonstrate the impact the research has already had.


    • Sharing: using the Kudos toolkit to generate trackable links for sharing via email, social media, websites, blogs etc. These enable us to show researchers the extent to which explaining, enriching and sharing are increasing the reach and impact of their work.


    • Measuring: Kudos’ dashboards and charts map the activities above against a range of metrics including page views, click-thrus, full text downloads, citation counts, and altmetric scores.


Kudos image

Towards the end of 2014, we announced an exciting partnership with Thomson Reuters which means ‘Times Cited’ counts from Web of Science are now included in our publication dashboards (see the right-hand column in the example dashboard above) – these figures too are linked back to richer datasets in Web of Science, which enable researchers to review and link to the citing publications.

Citations continue to be a critical measure of the impact of a researcher’s work, even while other kinds of measures grow up around them, and the Web of Science is widely acknowledged as the authoritative source. Like many, we’re fascinated to see the extent to which citation counts relate to more immediate indications of impact, such as downloads and altmetrics. We’re also interested in how this varies by subject area, or geography, or career level, and whether there is variation between different forms of explanation (e.g. short titles vs lay summaries), or different channels for sharing (e.g. email vs social media).

Another aspect we’re considering is publication age; much has been written about citation half-life, and many researchers are using Kudos to build new audiences for older publications – for example, by adding explanatory text and resource links that demonstrate how the work has influenced later developments. Ultimately, our goal is to compile data over time that will help authors, and their institutions, publishers and funders, understand which activities and channels correlate to better metrics across the board and throughout the ‘impact lifecycle’.

It is this last step that I want to focus on here. One of the driving principles of Kudos is that it is independent – cross-publisher, cross-platform, cross-metric. For researchers, it is a unique one-stop shop for checking lots of different performance measures across all your publications, which saves time and enables more immediate analysis of which types of communication have proven most effective. From the outset, we have included Altmetric data, with links through to the comprehensive datasets for each article on Altmetric.com. We also track usage into and out of the Kudos site (click-thrus from shared links, page views on Kudos, and click-thrus from our article pages to the full text on the publisher website). Several of our publisher partners provide us with usage data so that authors can also see the figures for abstract views and full text downloads on the publisher site.

More information about Wiley’s partnership with Kudos, and a video introduction, is available here.

Image Credit/Source: Folio Images RF/Getty Images

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