Q&A: Andrea Michalek and Mike Buschman

At ALA in Chicago, Andrea Michalek and Mike Buschman, cofounders of Plum Analytics, explained how their product works and what it can do for libraries.

What is PlumX, and why is it needed?

Michalek: Citation factor is a lagging indicator. Using PlumX, it’s possible for researchers to see a more up-to-date impact on the field compared to that of another person or cohort. Using an article’s DOI, you can see, for example, if people are talking about it on PubMed. Datasets are sharable, and you can see profiles of such groups as workshop participants. Researchers just set up their profile, and ingest of their material is done by us. Profiles can even include material like YouTube videos; users give us the link, and Plum will harvest the videos.

Does one kind of material boost a user’s profile more than another?

Buschman: We don’t classify the channel, we classify by the type of interaction. For example, citations by other researchers are one type, as are library holdings of an author’s material.

What new features should users look out for?

Buschman: We’re adding widgets for authors and for artifacts, for easier access, and it’s possible for universities to have their own pages in PlumX so that they can more easily showcase their researchers’ output. We also now sell PlumX to particular departments as opposed to only institutions as a whole, which is important as as some departments have atypical research outputs.

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Henrietta Verma About Henrietta Verma

Henrietta Verma (hverma@mediasourceinc.com, @ettaverma) is reviews editor at Library Journal, edits LJ's reference review column, and covers ereference and digital databases for the magazine. Before joining LJ's staff, Etta was reference editor at SLJ for five years and edited that magazine's Series Made Simple supplement. Etta, who is from Ireland, has also been a reference librarian and a library director and is the mom of two avid readers.

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