„PubMed Commons“: Description and Analysis of PubMed’s new commenting system

A few days ago I published a paper on Pubmed Commons called “Description and Analysis of PubMed’s new commenting system.” The paper, data and code are freely available under http://www.bibliometrie-pf.de/article/view/204. For some strange reason, I’ve decided to publish this paper in German. However, the abstract is also available in English:

With „PubMed Commons“, the world’s largest biomedical literature database has recently launched a forum for commenting on publications. PubMed Commons is open to any authors in PubMed. The purpose of this investigation is to describe and analyse all comments that have been published so far.

The analysed dataset comprises all comments written between June 2013 und May 2014, the forum users’ gender, the year the commented papers were published and the journal names. Furthermore, the number of comments containing a question or further references was assessed.

In total, 1.358 comments were published by 460 forum users. 90% of all papers were commented once, 30% of all comments were written by 10 users and half of the commented papers were published in 2013 and 2014. Since PubMed Commons was officially launched, the number of monthly published comments has continuously declined. 1/4 of comments contained a question and about 2/3 of comments contained further references. 90% of the forum users were male.

Since nearly any relevant biomedical journal is listed in PubMed, PubMed Commons has the potential to improve the networking of the worldwide scientific community regardless of publishing house or journal. However, PubMed Commons has hardly become interactive so far.

The following chart shows how frequently Pubmed Commons was used between 2013 June and 2014 May.

PubMed Commons User Statistics

Author: norbert

Biometrician at Clinical Trial Centre, Leipzig University (GER), with degrees in sociology (MA) and public health (MPH).

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