Some of you may have already heard of a new web-based service called Kudos. The main USP of the software is to help academics develop awareness and greater impact of their research through the main academic (Academia.edu, researchgate.net) and public social media engines (Twitter, Facebook). It is aimed at researchers, publishers and institutions and is free to register.
So what are the facts behind the marketing buzz. Here are my views on the advantage and disadvantages of this unique software and how useful I really think it is in helping to develop awareness of your work.
So first things first lets get the advantages out of the way.
- Some pretty good metrics tracking, linked directly to the metrics of some Journals. Also allows you to view shares and referrals and how much impact your work will have within social media.
- Links really well with your ORCID so pulls in a lot of your work without the researcher having to re-upload their work.
- Good Links to your DOI, making uploads easy and searchable
- Acts as a monitor of your publication within Social media
- Good focus on explaining your research in plain and simple language
So what are the disadvantages?
- That conference paper you have worked so hard on, the one into which you have poured your blood and sweat, well its not going to pick it up, hence you cant “claim it”.
- You cant build your research profile if you don’t have a DOI or a publication in a ranked journal that is linked to CrossRef.
- Hence if you submit your article to a open source journal not linked to CrossRef, it wont find it.
- Its citation pickup is not as developed as Scopus or Google Scholar.
- No real feedback on how to improve your online presence.
- Not clear if this is an iterative process or a one off.
- A lot of focus on Social Media, not clear on its impact on Search engines
I can see what the software is trying to do and there is great potential, but it falls short. To me social media is about engagement and development of your brand over a period of time. It is about building a conversation, I am unsure how Kudos helps facilitate that conversation, I know its not a social network but if it is the gatekeeper to the social networks then in my view additional provisions need to be made. How does it help researchers to link with other individuals with whom they can discuss their research? Another issue for me which is quite big is the increased focus on social media to the detriment of Search engines. How does Kudos help academic research to get to the top of search engines?
The online profile for all academics is now a necessity, Kudos cab help at the top end of the scale but if your a new researcher it might not be for you. Hence to me it feels like a very exclusive shop. Its really good if your a professor or a experienced researcher with huge amounts of publications in good and high ranking journals. However if your a humble researcher like me who is just starting out, has done a few conference papers, a few articles in open source journals (unless they are linked to CrossRef) and you have contributed in some small manner into the academic community it wont pick up on this contribution in any great detail.
These are my brief views and I may revisit later but Kudos needs to do a lot more to its software in creating a engine for awareness online. It is on the right lines, the metrics are good but more depth needs to be developed. Its a “plugin software” something that you should use in addition to your other online activities, not really your main port of call.
If you agree or disagree please leave a comment. Also the image above is the copyright of Kudos, I only use for visualisation purposes.