Introducing the SciVal API

An API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it provides a way for programs to talk to one another.

The SciVal API offers the same feature as the SciVal UI (user interface), in that it allows you to retrieve metrics, researchers and all 8,500+ institutions in SciVal. However, the results procured are in a machine-readable format that enables software, rather than humans using the platform, to find the data. Consequently, this allows developers to write programs that automatically extract metrics from SciVal periodically, and use that data in their Institutional Repository systems, websites and for richer visualizations in tools like Tableau.

SciVal API Demo video

As part of the exciting new release  Martin Edling Andersson (Senior SciVal Product Manager) & Joe Riess (Principal Software Engineer) ran a demo to introduce the new SciVal API, what it is, where it can be accessed and how it can be utilized. Joe, who built the SciVal API, gave a demonstration of how you can create a small application using the SciVal API and Scopus APIs together, whilst Martin outlined the first release and other upcoming capabilities.

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What is being Released?

An API is just another content delivery mechanism. Every action in SciVal uses the API behind the scenes. Currently you can download SciVal metrics from anywhere in the platform using the export function, however this can be quite labor intensive for repetitive work.

By utilizing the new public API, you can download the most common metrics for institutions and researchers. It allows you to automate repetitive tasks, thus saving quite a bit of time and effort but requires some technical knowledge.

For the first release you will be able to retrieve metrics on researchers (author profiles) and institutions, covering 86% of the main use cases, including:

  1. Scholarly Output
  2. Publications in Top Journal Percentiles
  3. Outputs in Top Citation Percentiles
  4. Field-Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI)
  5. Collaboration
  6. Citation Count
  7. Citations Per Publication (CPP)
  8. h-indeces
  9. Collaboration Impact
  10. Cited Publications

This covers 86% of all metrics calls.  There will be an initial limitation of 2,000 metric requests per month per user.

SciVal or Scopus - which API, when?

The SciVal and Scopus APIs serve different/complimentary functions. Whereas you will use the Scopus API to show publications and Scopus cited-by counts, the SciVal API will allow you to highlight metrics for authors and institutions.

What is being provided?What is it used for?
SciValThe top 10 most used metrics in SciVal over the last 5 years, based on a rolling  window (first release).
  • Showing metrics for authors or institutions on websites
  • Monitoring institutional or departmental outputs
  • Enriching internal data for performance reviews
  • High level strategic planning,
  • Measurement of collaboration and publication performance at the researcher level
ScopusCurated abstracts and citation data from all scholarly journals indexed by Scopus.
  • Showing publications, cited-by counts and/or publication-based metrics on author or institutional websites
  • Federated searching
  • Populating IRs and research information systems with basic document metadata and citation overviews

APIs are also available for other Elsevier products including: ScienceDirect, Mendeley, Reaxys, Engineering Village and EMBASE.

Access through Elsevier Developer Platform

You can access the SciVal API via the Elsevier Developer Platform together with Scopus, ScienceDirect, Embase and Engineering Village APIs. The platform also provides:

  • API key generation (for authentication)
  • Help guides for getting started
  • Overview of the various use cases and detailed recipe books
  • Interactive documentation
  • Other additional resources e.g. legal, SDKs etc.

What‘s in the Roadmap?

The other functionalities which we will be working on for subsequent releases include:

  • Metrics on Publication sets, Groups of Researchers, Groups of Institutions, Countries and Groups of Countries.
  • Metrics on your “own” entities
  • Integration with commercial CRIS systems.