Major Development by Public Library Of Science (PLoS) and Article-Level Metrics !



Submitted by Mark Patterson on Wed, 2009-09-16 11:10.


As part of our ongoing article-level metrics program, we’re delighted to announce that all seven PLoS journals will now provide online usage data for published articles. With this addition, the suite of metrics on PLoS articles now includes measures of: online usage; citations from the scholarly literature; social bookmarks; blog coverage; and the Comments, Notes and ‘Star’ ratings that have been made on the article.




PLoS has therefore embarked on a program to aggregate a range of available data about an article and place that data on the article itself. The data are found on the new tab called ‘Metrics’, available on all articles. A reader can now scan the various metrics to determine the extent to which the article has been viewed, cited, covered in the media and so forth. With the addition of usage data to the article-level metrics we have taken another step towards providing the community with valuable data that can be used and analyzed.




In order to make article-level metrics as open and useful as possible, we are providing our entire dataset as a downloadable spreadsheet and we encourage interested researchers to download the data and perform their own analyses.




It’s also important to emphasize that online usage should not be seen as an absolute indicator of quality for any given article, and such data must be interpreted with caution. To provide additional context and to aid interpretation, we have provided a series of summary tables indicating the average usage of categories of article (grouped by age, journal and topic area).


Links to A Zipped Downloadable Spreadsheet Of The Entire Dataset, Summary of Tables Indicating The Average Usage Of Categories Of Article (Grouped By Age, Journal And Topic Area),FAQ, And A Background Posting, Etc. Are Available At


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Gerry McKiernan

Associate Professor

Science and Technology Librarian

Iowa State University Library

Ames IA 50011

“Is There Knowledge We Are Not Meant To Know?”