Data & Analytics

Citation Monitoring Tool Adds Data from Open Syllabus Project

A company that helps institutions and publishers monitor the reach of their scholarly output has begun tracking data from the Open Syllabus Project (OSP).

Altmetric aims to capture the reach and impact of content beyond traditional citation-based measures by including references from public policy, coverage in the mainstream media, discussions on social media and blogs, and "mentions" in other sources such as Wikipedia, Mendeley and post-publication peer-review forums.

The OSP, a project hosted at Columbia University's American Assembly, crawls through university websites to collect course syllabi. The goal is to extract citations and other metadata from them in order to learn how fields are evolving that could influence teaching and publishing. Currently, the project has collected more than a million syllabi from 4,000 institutions, whose referenced texts can be explored on the project's website. OSP doesn't share the underlying documents themselves; it aggregates and shares statistics about sources mentioned in the syllabi.

The Altmetric addition to that work is intended for its own users, who can go to "details" pages on the Altmetric website and see all of the original shares and mentions for specific research that now also includes the data from OSP syllabi. Users can click on the name of an institution to be taken to the associated OSP record, which lists all books referenced by that institution in its course syllabi.

"One of our main aims in launching the Open Syllabus tool was to help authors, scholars and libraries get a better understanding of where books were having an influence in the classroom," said OSP Project Director Joe Karaganis, in a press release. "We're really pleased to see Altmetric integrating our data into their platform, adding another level of visibility to our efforts."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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