In Research we have the chance evaluate our projects in multiple dimensions including science, image, product, open source, and service impact among others. I have participated in this process in various roles over the past few years, and have learned a lot of interesting things first as the outside reviewer of some of these projects and lately have been preparing the evaluations of my team projects.
Science Impact: Last year I was looking into the science impact of some of our projects, and it seemed rather archaic to go through some of our papers, and add them title by title and citation by citation to a spreadsheet or doc, which has been kind of the common practice and would look like something like this:
It was relatively easy and painless to create a dynamic and online version of this with Google Scholar. I simply created a pseudo GMail user, and then searched and colected relevant references from different contributors of the project. It is a somewhat non-standard use of Scholar, because unlike my personal Scholar page that has ALL citations that ALL include ME, this was hand picked subset of papers from multiple authors. So there was some customization involved. The end result of this looked much better, and most importantly it is dynamic as it continues to update itself:
I did not have much to do with this page since its creation, and it is pretty great to see how our has been evolving (or devolving?) over time. There is still some hands-on work needed, to add new contributions and contributors manually, to remove duplicates, etc. So it is not perfectly hands off.
But it could be… Here are some potential features I would have loved to have, or if they exist, I am unaware of:
- Define Groups for Authors: It would be great to define groups for people. I am sure faculty would love this feature to track their group publications. With this feature, we could have simply created a group and have each project member join the group from their scholar pages (maybe even have a time range, but that is kind of flaky, because of the lag in publication times).
- Define Project Tags for Papers: It would also be awesome to have tags for papers, so we could match them with projects, groups, etc. With both options, we could have simply created a group+project profile by specifying which group and what tags, and the intersection would autofill.
It does not escape me that this requires some curation, and i could always extend with the same manual steps I did above, but with some incentive I could see this working. I am also sure Google would be smart enough to auto-add/propose tags/groups for us.
Image/Social Impact: My main intentions for this was not to write about science impact and Scholar—that was an obvious, straightforward solution. At least the details above segways to what’s next. This year I was looking into three projects and their image/social impact. Just as above, I had no intentions of making a static spreadsheet. And it seems fairly obvious that I was looking into a something like a Scholar for web content, like blogs, press releases. I was hoping a read-it-later service like Pocket—one of my favorite tools—would take care of business here, or some social bookmarking would work. To my surprise, I cannot seem to find the right tool that fits the purpose here. I ended up using Google Sheets for this and some custom Apps Scripts, based on what I learned from these two folks:
- Google Spreadsheets as a lean mean social bookmark/share counting machine
- Get Social Share Counts of a URL with Google Scripts
I started with s spreadsheet from the first blog, and changed some queries based on the second one. With a few trials and errors I had a simple solution that looks like this:
You simply paste a URL and almost everything is autogenerated from there on, except for one thing: The title (Well, in reality when & where as well, but those are not really critical for me). It did not occur to me, but title/excerpt is one piece that is not trivial, based on different contents. Ideally, I think it would be very nice to have something like Pocket’s view, and at some point I might revisit this for such an experiment (enjoy the shameless plug on the selected 1st and 3rd example titles;)):
Above spreadsheet solved my problem, but is far from effortless, and far from pretty. I am surprized to see i cannot find a good solution that combines social share counting and read it later/social bookmarks. I know great add-ons like Social Share Counter and various web services exist for counting, but none that seems to have above collection, categorization, aggregation features.
I would like to pose this as a feature request for Pocket: Please consider adding social share counts for bookmarks, and aggregations for tags/lists. Please also feel free to set me straight with any existing potential candidates for this.