ImpactStory metrics of academic research outreach piloted by Pensoft Publishers

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ImpactStory is an open-source, web-based service that is designed to make it quick and easy to uncover the impact of  research output. Being philanthropically-funded and not-for-profit, this project builds on the belief that open altmetrics are key for building the coming era of Web-native science. ImpactStory is committed to working towards open access, free and open data and radical transparency for the future of science.

ImpactStory goes beyond traditional measurements of research output to embrace broader evidence of use, such as social networks, blogs, reference and citation managers, Wikipedia, and more. The tool helps scholars to explore and share the diverse impacts of all their research products—not just journal articles, but also blog posts, datasets, and software. ImpactStory’s combination of traditional and innovative approaches aims to bring additional use to the rich Web environment.

The project began its life at the Beyond Impact workshop in 2011, after which a few passionate participants migrated into a hotel hallway to continue working, eventually completing a 24-hour coding marathon to finish a prototype. ImpactStory is now funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation , and is in the process of incorporating as a non-profit corporation.

The people behind this innovative approach are Heather Piwowar, a leading researcher in the area of research data availability and data reuse, and Jason Priem, who contributed to and created several open-source software projects and who coined the term “altmetrics”.

“People bookmark and download research articles for a reason,” says Jason. “Articles that provoke interesting discussions amongst fellow scientists may or may not get cited a lot, but they are still providing important feedback and quality indicators. Additionally, activity in venues like Wikipedia, Twitter, and Delicious provides evidence of broader impacts–evidence that is increasingly important to research funders and administrators.”

“We are glad to be the first to use ImpactStory services and to work together on bringing them to an industry standard. Our authors are happy to see these meaningful icons appearing automatically alongside their articles and summarising, for example, the number of tweets, or Wikipedia articles, in which their work has been mentioned or cited.  A tool that certainly has a great future!” says Pror, Lyubomir Penev, founder and managing director of Pensoft Publishers.




For more information about the services and the vision of ImpactStory please visit or follow us at @impactstory.

Additional information:

ImpactStory is an open-source, web-based tool that helps researchers explore and share the diverse impacts of all their research products–traditional ones like journal articles, but also alternative products like blog posts, datasets, and software. Authors, publishers, and institutions can create, explore and share web-based collections, or embed rich impact data right in their webpages with an easy-to-use widget. By helping researchers tell data-driven stories about their impacts, ImpactStory aims to help build a reward system that values and encourages new forms of web-native scholarship. ImpactStory is funded by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Pensoft Publishers specialize in academic book and open access journal publishing, mostly in the field of biodiversity science and natural history. In early 2103, we launch the Pensoft lJournal System (PJS 2.0), a novel editorial management system that for the first time in scholarly publishing completes the cycle from article authoring through submission, community peer-review and editing, to publication and dissemination within a single online collaborative platform. PJS 2.0 has its own online, collaborative, article-authoring tool (Pensoft Writing Tool, PWT) that provides a large set of pre-defined, but flexible, templates of different types of article.

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