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Plum Analytics disrupts academic traditions with metrics that create fast track to prestige

Andrea Michalek is looking to take Publish or Perish down a notch. Dresher, Montgomery County-based Michalek and co-founder Mike Buschman have just launched Plum Analytics, and they've got traditional academia in the crosshairs.

"If you look at how prestige is measured now," says Michalek, "there is a time lag from when your academic article is published to reaching a critical mass. From the eureka moment to getting credit now takes about seven years." It takes about two years for an article to be published, then there's a review period, followed by researchers citing the work in their articles. Tenure and prestige are based on citation counts and links back to an article.
But, says Michalek, with all the data available online, a much earlier indicator of academic excellence is possible. Advancing from brilliant idea to academic prestige can become a near real time process. If a researcher gives a talk at a conference, he or she can post the deck to SlideShare, as well as tweet and blog about it. All of these sites have built in metrics that indicate traction and interest.

"We gather from fourteen different sources, including Facebook, CiteULike, LinkedIn and Wikipedia."
Michalek partnered with Buschman to form the bootstrapped startup while both were working in a distributed team for the academic research tool Summon, which has been purchased by over 400 libraries in over 40 countries worldwide in just three-and-a-half years. Buschman will remain in Seattle, while Michalek resides here in Philadelphia. Plum Analytics presents its startup tomorrow at a special education edition of Philly Tech Meetup at the Quorum of the University City Science Center.

Source: Andrea Michalek, Plum Analytics
Writer: Sue Spolan
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