Kudos attracts 1,000 academics in first 24 hours

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The alpha site of Kudos, a new initiative to help researchers increase the impact and visibility of their research, attracted 1,000 academics in its first 24 hours, according to the team behind the project. Charlie Rapple, one of the founders of Kudos, said she and the other founders have been amazed by the level of interest. 'I think we would have been pleased if that many had signed up over the full three months of the pilot,' she commented.

This early enthusiasm has allowed the team to begin observing trends and potential benefits of the service. 'It's been fascinating to watch academics engage with the site and to see the kinds of material they are adding - and to see that, contrary to popular belief, they can describe their work well in plain English if encouraged and guided to do so,' Rapple continued. 

She explained that those people who are also using the system to share their publications more widely, whether via social media or email, have seen, on average, an additional 13 hits per article so far. 'Lots of these articles were typically seeing quite low usage prior to the trial - one or two hits a week - so it's exciting to see our theory bears out in practice: creating a simple description of the article and using social media to share it can have a dramatic impact on usage.'

The project is also tracking the impact on Altmetric scores of authors using Kudos. According to Rapple, in some cases, Altmetric scores for articles are changing daily as a result of authors using Kudos.

'It's early days, and we still have plenty of data to chew before we release our pilot findings later this year, but the early signs are very good,' she said.

'Our participation in the Kudos alpha phase has given us valuable early insight into academics’ expectations and behaviours,' commented Ian Bannerman, managing director of Taylor & Francis. 'Clearly, authors are willing to invest time in highlighting their articles, and Kudos has the potential to help us pursue our shared interest in maximising the impact and visibility of their work.'

Further results from Kudos’ alpha phase will be published following its completion at the end of 2013. The project's next step is to approach several more publishers to participate in next year's beta phase and the aditional participating publishers are expected to be announced in November.