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News about City University's open access repository, philosophical musings about Open Access

Adding Almetrics badges to City Research Online

First post of 2013! I’ve been lax in posting to this blog, apologies loyal readers!

A nice new piece of functionality with City Research Online’s repository- we have added Altmetrics badges to records. See for example this recent paper which has already picked up some Twitter attention.These badges display the amount of social media attention a particular article has attracted. They provide what is hopefully an interesting extra piece of functionality along with the Addthis buttons, which allow users to post about articles to social media. As so often the magic of DOIs is used, with the Altmetrics plug-in matching articles from the DOI displayed on a record against tracked activity via its API.

It will be interesting to see trends as they emerge on records we make available via the repository, and to see if any of our users a) notices the change and b) comments on the new metric as disaplyed, either positively or negatively.

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City Research Online & IRUS-UK

Regular readers of this blog will know that we like our stats here at City Research Online. Therefore, when we were approached by representatives of the IRUS-UK project, we leapt at the chance to participate.

The JISC-funded project is intending to set up a national infrastructure to aggregate and disseminate institutional repository (IR) download statistics, thereby demonstrating the vital importance of IRs in the scholarly communications landscape (and by extension, the importance of Green Open Access). These statistics will also be COUNTER-compliant, meaning they can be reported on to SCONUL and other interested parties. The statistics gathered will be freely available and re-usable, in the spirit of the openly accessible IRs on which they report.

For us, the project is a chance to be involved in (and perhaps in a small way influence) the early stages of a project which is likely to be an important piece of infrastructure. It also will provide a way to verify the statistics we gather from our in-house tools (Eprints’ IR Stats package and the ubiquitous Google Analytics), and to benchmark ourselves against other institutions. The early indications are that the other four participating institutions (Bournemouth, Cranfield, Huddersfield and Salford) receive LOTS of downloads compared to us, but then they are all larger and more established than us.

I’ll blog about this project more in future, when we have more to report upon.

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Stat attack!

I’ve become a little bit obsessed with monitoring the statistics for City Research Online recently, particularly Google Analytics’ Real Time functionality, which allows you to see visitors as they look at the site in real time.

Obsession aside, we’ve reached a couple of milestones in the last week or so. First, we had our first 100-download day, which weirdly enough was last Saturday the 21st of April:

April 2012 download statistics

Second, we seem to now be attracting more than 100 individual visitors day on day for the first time, which I think is indicative of the increasing amounts of traffic we’re getting via search (inevitably largely Google). I think it probably also indicates that we’re getting indexed more often and more comprehensively by the big G.

It’s also further proof that material added to City Research Online really does get found, downloaded and (presumably) read, built upon and cited.

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City Research Online now being (fully?) web indexed

A couple of recent developments to report. City Research Online is now being indexed in a couple of the key discovery tools for open access repository content.

The first is the Big G’s Google Scholar, which (other than Google’s all-purpose search engine, which has already fully indexed our content) is THE key tool for discovery of repository content. It looks like Scholar is currently only partially indexing the content of CRO, but over time I would expect it to crawl and index the whole thing. This is crucially important for discovery, since Scholar is often the go-to tool for researchers looking to find scholarly material, and repository material gets highly ranked in Scholar. Here is an example of a search string which returns a CRO result.

The second is a more specialised tool, the BASE search engine. Run out of the University of Bielefeld in Germany, BASE indexes content of selected institutional and subject repositories, then allows cross-searching of all this material. Therefore, if you search BASE, you can be sure you’re searching quality content from a wide number of institutional repository sources. Here’s a link to all of City’s records in BASE.

We’re going to be keeping an eye on referrer statistics from Google Analytics to see what effect this has on repository use.

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