Predictive Analytics for Publishing

Carl Straumsheim, Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

A new entrant based in Toronto is offering competition for Academia and ResearchGate. As this article says, Meta helps researchers to follow topics of interest in biomedical sciences (it intends to expand) with individual feed lists and libraries. The interesting bit is that Meta has organized this work as a graph of topics, researchers, journals and other elements. Presumably individuals using the service would also be included in the graph. The idea is to be able to predict emerging trends using data analytics. This may be more difficult than it sounds. After all, as cofounder Sam Molyneux says, “There’s always going to be a fraction of information that doesn’t get published in articles,” Molyneux said. “There’s also the unpublished leading edge of science." Yeah. And that's a very large fraction. I tried out the site - I really didn't like the way the wizard seized control and wouldn't just let you explore until you had set up feeds and topics, but overall it seemed relatively intuitive.

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