We’re excited to announce that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded $360,000 to fund two years of research into altmetrics to be conducted at the University of Montreal, Indiana University, and George Mason University. The Zotero project’s first phase of participation will involve the aggregation and delivery of anonymized datasets to allow our research partners in Montreal and Bloomington to compare readership across a range of metrics, including commercial databases, social media, and reference management software. This project’s second phase is even more exciting: Zotero will put into production a preliminary public API that returns anonymous readership counts when fed universal identifiers (e.g. ISBN, DOI), enabling bibliometric research and integration into third-party apps.
Our partners at the University of Montreal, led by Vincent Larivière and Stefanie Haustein, and at Indiana University, led by Cassidy Sugimoto, will analyze the readership data supplied by Zotero and provide feedback regarding its quality to help us refine our aggregation algorithm. The resulting research will improve our understanding of social media’s value in scholarly communication and shed light on the actual meaning of various altmetric scoring systems.