April 23, 2014

Altmetrics: EBSCO Acquires Plum Analytics

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The following news was announced this morning. Links to background items about Plum Analytics are found the bottom of this post.

Congrats to Andrea and Mike!

Here’s the official announcement from EBSCO.

In a deal that brings together the leading subscription services, database, e-book and discovery provider with the leading provider of alternative research metrics, EBSCO Information Services has acquired PlumAnalytics. Plum Analytics is the first altmetrics provider to move beyond metrics about articles and track all research output in any form, providing a powerful tool that augments traditional metrics.

Plum Analytics is the provider of PlumX, a product that delivers a more complete picture of research and answers questions about research impact for anyone including researchers, librarians, administrators, and funders.

PlumX, named Library Journal’s most ambitious database in 2013, gathers metrics across five categories—usage, mentions, captures, social media and citations. Metrics are gathered around what Plum Analytics calls artifacts—more than just the journal articles that a researcher authors. Artifacts include:

The information collected is presented in a variety of ways including data visualizations, dashboards, and widgets. Plum Analytics is the only company synthesizing this metrics data for custom analysis for each institution and for publishers.

[Our emphasis] Plum Analytics will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of EBSCO Information Services and will continue to operate as Plum Analytics with the same products and management.

Plum Analytics was founded by Andrea Michalek and Mike Buschman.

Michalek, the co-founder and CEO, has deep experience developing technology for big data and is the former Director of Technology for Summon. She is also the former founder and Chief Technologist of EchoFactor, a spin-off division of Infonautics. Andrea founded Topular LLC, a consulting practice where she served as an interim technology executive for software companies and helped many startups successfully launch their products.

Buschman, co-founder and chief product officer, and a librarian himself who was once named a Library JournalMover & Shaker, was the Program Manager for Microsoft Academic Search and Book Search and is the former Director of Product Management for Summon. Buschman also worked with libraries on training and marketing as Client Services Manager for the scholarly society publisher IEEE.

Michael Buschman and the rest of the Plum Analytics team are veterans of the library and research communities and will continue to use that expertise to create new ways of evaluating the big data generated when people interact with research. Michael says working with EBSCO brings together two companies that work with the research community. “Teaming up with the leading content and analysis provider for libraries and scholarly publishers in order to move to a new era of scholarly impact metrics helps us take the power of PlumX to the next level and realize new ways of assessing and analyzing research. With EBSCO’s deep content assets and usage data, this is a natural enhancement to the data that PlumX collects around research.”

EBSCO Information Services President Tim Collins says Plum Analytics is leading the way in a new field that has ramifications for a variety of stakeholders. “PlumX is able to provide a more timely and more thorough picture of the impact of research to researchers, institutions and publishers. EBSCO is very excited to be entering what is a new product area for us. We look forward to working with Andrea, Michael, and their team.”

Buschman sees a bright future for research and researchers, “As institutions compete for grant dollars, newer ways to analyze research will become essential to understanding the impact a researcher is having. PlumX allows libraries, research institutions, funding agencies and publishers to better support researchers and to comprehend the scope of research being conducted more rapidly and on a wider scale.”

UPDATE: Comments from Plum Analytics in this Blog Post

Here are two paragraphs from the post:

We are excited about being associated with EBSCO for a number of reasons, but chiefly among them is that fact they too are grounded in libraries. As the wingman to researchers, measuring research impact has always been a part of the librarian’s charter. Given our mutual background in libraries and librarianship we know that this expertise will make our ability to deliver on products that help assess research impact stronger. Our library background is what created Plum Analytics and PlumX in the first place. It was important to us to find an acquisition partner that not only understood this, but shared the same background.

Another reason we are excited about our relationship with EBSCO is their relationship with the academic publishing world. As a company that is a trusted aggregator and is therefore publisher-neutral, it is a perfect pairing for us as we look forward to expanding our role in helping publishers with research impact.

More About Plum Analytics

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.