Open Access Book-Impact and "Demotic" Metrics

From: Stevan Harnad <amsciforum_at_GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2008 10:32:07 -0400

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SUMMARY: Unlike with OA's primary target, journal articles, the
deposit of the full-texts of books in Open Access Repositories cannot
be mandated, only encouraged. However, the deposit of book metadata +
plus + reference-lists can and should be mandated. That will create
the metric that the book-based disciplines need most: a book citation
index. ISI's Web of Science only covers citations of books by
(indexed) journal articles, but book-based disciplines' biggest need
is book-to-bookcitations. Citebase could provide that, once the book
reference metadata are being deposited in the IRs too, rather than
just article postprints. (Google Books and Google Scholar are already
providing a first approximation to book citation count.) Analogues of
"download" metrics for books are also potentially obtainable from
book vendors, beginning with Amazon Sales Rank. In the Humanities it
also matters for credit and impact how much the non-academic (hence
non-citing) public is reading their books ("Demotic Metrics"). IRs
can not only (1) add book-metadata/reference deposit to their OA
Deposit Mandates, but they can (2) harvest Amazon book-sales metrics
for their book metadata deposits, to add to their IR stats. IRs can
also already harvestGoogle Books (and Google Scholar) book-citation
counts today, as a first step toward constructing a distributed,
universal OA book-citation index. The Dublin humanities metrics
conference was also concerned about other kinds of online works, and
how to measure and credit their impact: Metrics don't stop with
citation counts and download counts. Among the many "Demotic metrics"
that can also be counted are link-counts, tag-counts, blog-mentions,
and  web mentions. This applies to books/authors, as well as to data,
to courseware and to other identifiable online resources. We should
hasten the progress of book metrics, and that will in turn accelerate
the growth in OA's primary target content: journal articles, as well
as increasing support for institutional and funder OA Deposit
Received on Fri Oct 10 2008 - 16:11:49 BST

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