Previously, I discussed the problem with impact factor in law and the seemingly insurmountable task of creating a meaningful impact factor.
But as any good law librarian would do, we always try to "make it happen." To that end, I recently ran across PlumX as a platform to aggregate various metric sources.
As noted on Texas Tech University's LibGuide on point, besides traditional citation counts, there are many ways of tracking research impacts. They try to capture the presence in new scholarly venues, presence and impact in social media and other forms of online engagement, such as views, downloads, bookmarks etc. Collectively, we refer to these as altmetrics, as opposed to traditional citation measurement using Web of Science, Scopus and other citation enhanced databases.
Many libraries, including a few law libraries, are now integrating PlumX directly into institutional repositories to capture these altmetrics.
As Karen Shephard from Pitt Law Library recently commented in an AALL discussion on faculty services:
With the University's support, we have been creating PLUMX profiles for our faculty members. They are connected with our University's digital repository, D-Scholarship, and bring together an amazing amount of publication usage data, from downloads (via SCOPUS publications, EPrints, SSRN and more) - including related citations - to social media mentions (FB, blogs, etc.), captures (i.e. Mendeley) and more.
While the traditional sources still hold the most weight, our Law School is using the altmetircs available through PLUMX to supplement information concerning faculty impact. It's "really cool" being able to see when someone across the globe is talking about a faculty member's recent work!
If all law libraries start measuring impact with a service such as PlumX, we may just have the metrics that we need to compare meaningful scholarly impact.