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How We Use Analytics

The MIT Press is dedicated to improving research online by supporting, expanding, and surfacing new insights about scholarly information. This commitment is visible on our website in the form of multiple partnerships with Digital Science—a company whose mission is to make all parts of the research process more open, efficient, and effective.

What is Digital Science Dimensions?

Dimensions is a next-generation linked research information system that makes it easier to find and access the most relevant information, analyze the academic and broader outcomes of research, and gather insights to inform future avenues of inquiry. Developed in collaboration with over 100 leading research organizations around the world, it brings together funding data, publications, altmetrics, citations, clinical trials, and patents in a richly linked discovery platform that allows users to explore more than 4 billion connections among these elements. It was developed by the company Digital Science through a dynamic collaboration across six of its portfolio businesses — ReadCubeAltmetricFigshareSymplecticDS Consultancy, and ÜberResearch.

What do the Dimensions badges on the MIT website mean?

Dimensions badges are interactive visualizations that showcase the citation data for individual publications. Each publication that is indexed in the Dimensions database gets its own badge. Although the first thing you see on every Dimensions badge is the citation count, clicking through to the accompanying details page reveals even more useful information, from new citation performance metrics such as the Field Citation Ratio (FCR) to a visualization that indicates the publication’s relative influence on specific research areas.

On the Summary tab of each Dimensions badge details page, you may view four main citation metrics (total citation count, recent citation count, Field Citation Ratio or FCR, and Relative Citation Ratio or RCR) as visual gauges, with accompanying interpretative text. The interpretative text changes depending on the value of the Field Citation Ratio and is helpful for giving users a sense of whether the number of citations received by the publication is high, low, or average when compared to other publications in the same field. You can read more about what the metrics mean, how they are calculated, and how the interpretative text is generated here.

What are altmetrics?

Altmetrics are metrics and qualitative data that complement traditional, citation-based metrics. They can include (but are not limited to) social media mentions, citations on Wikipedia and in public policy documents, discussions on research blogs, mainstream media coverage, and bookmarks on reference managers such as Mendeley.

Sourced from the web, altmetrics can tell you a lot about how often journal articles and other scholarly outputs like datasets are discussed and used around the world. For that reason, altmetrics have been incorporated into researchers’ websites, institutional repositories, journal websites like ours, and more.

What do the Altmetric badges on the MIT Press website mean?

Altmetric donuts provide a colorful, distinctive, and instantly recognizable visualization that showcases the wider influence and dissemination of our published content. Each donut gives our website visitors one-click access to the collated record of online attention for each piece of research, where they can browse all of the original mentions and shares associated with it. Altmetrics data can serve, variously, as a record of the attention a scholarly work has received, a measure of its dissemination, and an indicator of its influence and impact.

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