Visibility and citations are the two factors that really matter to academics and researchers, especially when they are publishing in the Open Access model. According to many reports and analyses, OA helps to gain greater visibility and higher citation counts. But how do you measure the impact of Open Access on these factors? It is not easy, but there are tools on the Internet that can help to determine, more or less, the visibility of a specific book or article.
One of these tools is ImpactStory. Currently in its early stages of development (in Beta phase) ImpactStory is certainly an interesting tool, well worth monitoring. Its goal is to help researchers, funders, as well as the broader public, to measure visibility and citation of a specific article, slideshow, blog or dataset.
Generating a report in ImpactStory is quite easy. The user simply adds an article to the database from ORCID or Google Scholar. If the user wants to generate a report for a blog or a slideshow, it may only add a URL of the material. After processing the data, ImpactStory produces a report with a concrete set of data.
The online report shows the number of bookmarks, readers; the number of citations by scholars as well as the number of recommendations. It also reports other activities, such as if an article was discussed, saved or cited by the public. Of course this is just an example, and the information presented in a report depends on the type of material and its impact.
However, it is very important to remember that ImpactStory is not ideal and provides data which can only be called relatively accurate, or in the best case, not 100% certain. This tool is designed to help researchers recognize, in a general way, the level of visibility and citations of their papers. Nevertheless it seems to be a very helpful tool, well worth a shot.