In 2014, members from PLOS (Jennifer Lin, Martin Fenner), California Digital Library (Carly Strasser, John Kratz, Trisha Cruse), and DataONE (Amber Budden, Matt Jones, Dave Vieglais) received an NSF EAGER research grant entitled, Making Data Count: Developing a Data Metrics Pilot. That effort surveyed scholars and publishers and determined which metrics and approaches would offer the most value to the research community. The Making Data Count team spent one-year researching the priorities of the community and exploring how ideas common to article level metrics (ALM) could be translated to conventions in data level metrics (DLM) and building a prototype DLM service. They determined that the community values data citation, data usage, and data download statistics more than they value the metrics focused on social media.

Based on this research, in 2017, Make Data Count project partners (California Digital Library, DataCite, DataONE) went a step further and isolated the gaps in existing data metrics efforts: a) there are no community-driven standards for data usage stats; b) no open source tools for data centers to collect usage stats according to standards; c) and no central place to store, index and access data usage stats, together with other DLM, in particular data citations. From 2017-2019, the project aimed to build the infrastructure for open data metrics: standards for normalizing data usage and best practices for data citation. Closing out this phase of work, the team wrote a book defining steps forward titled “Open Data Metrics: Lighting the Fire”.

The Make Data Count initiative is now focused on broad adoption of standardized data usage and data citation practices at repositories and publishers. We belive this can be achieved by evidence based bibliometrics studies on researcher behaving in citing and re-using data as well as increased services to aid in repositories and publishers reporting normalized data usage and citation counts. The current initiative is led by partners at California Digital Library, Crossref, DataCite, DataONE, ScholCommLab, University of Ottawa, and ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

Making Data Count: Developing a Data Metrics Pilot. NSF Grant No. 1448821

Kratz, John; Strasser, Carly (2015), Making Data Count survey responses, Dataset,

Kratz, John; Jones, Matt; Lin, Jennifer; Fenner, Martin (2015): Make Data Count – April 2015 Progress Update. figshare.

Lowenberg, Daniella, Chodacki, John, Fenner, Martin, Kemp, Jennifer, & Jones, Matthew B. (2019). Open Data Metrics: Lighting the Fire. Zenodo.