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Peerage of Science
10 May 2013

The era of the journal impact factor as a measure of individual article's or individual scientist's importance is, slowly but thankfully, coming to an end. Scientists have complained about the unsuitability of that metric for a long time, and now funders, universities and other organisations evaluating science have also started to acknowledge that there are other, better ways to measure scientists and their output.

altmeric logoCitation counts for individual articles, and indices based on those like the h-index are steps in the right direction. But those metrics start to accrue slowly, after the paper has been accessible for the world for some time and other papers using that paper have also appeared. In addition to citations, scientific articles often also have an immediate impact on society, as the results are featured in mainstream media, discussed in various platforms, and shared among people in their social networks.

One important development is the rise of metrics that measure this impact beyond scholarly citations. Altmetric is one of the leading providers of article-level metrics, offering free browser add-on you can use to view metrics of articles you view online, as well as tools for universities, publishers and libraries to keep track, analyze and display the impact of their research output.

Peerage of Science has made an agreement with Altmetric, allowing our users to share the final evaluation scores of their articles with Altmetric. Altmetric has direct access to Peerage of Science data, so in the future, their tools will be able to display also the impact and quality indices articles had before publication in a formal peer review environment which is accessed by qualified academics only.

We believe the option to have your article scores available in Altmetric tools is immensely beneficial for a scientist: even before your work is cited, all readers, libraries, publishers, funding organizations, universities and other prospective employers or collaboration partners will be able to see metrics indicating how valid and important your work was considered by your peers during peer review. If you are listing altmetrics in your CV and publication list, having also formal peer review metrics there adds weight and helps to highlight your best work.

That being said, Peerage of Science is of course faithful to its charter, and respects the right of scientists to always decide themselves how their work is used; if you do not want scores of a particular article of yours to be shared outside the small group of people reviewing and considering it inside Peerage of Science, then the scores are not shared with Altmetric or any other third party.

As soon as Altmetric is ready with the implementation on their side, we will post information here and in our newsletter about how your article impact in Peerage of Science will show up in Altmetric tools, and how you control the access rights. Meanwhile, everyone, please submit your manuscript to Peerage of Science, and many thanks to all the reviewers for the wonderful work you are doing in providing the peer reviews!

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