A Most Impressive Development !
What's this all about?
This site applies a simple, photorealistic variant of the Chernoff Faces visualization technique
to impact factor data for papers in the PubMed database of biomedical literature. Basically it allows you to search PubMed and have the results represented as a set of human faces. "I was published a couple of years ago in a crap journal and nobody is citing me."
The theory is that mapping multidimensional data (in this case the age, journal impact factor and citation count associated with each paper) to facial features takes advantage of the fact that our brains are highly tuned to recognise, process and differentiate between human faces.
Each paper is represented as a face. The ethnicity and gender of the face is selected at random for visual interest - you can turn this feature off if you so choose.
"I was published recently in a good journal. Citations are as expected."
The age of a face correlates with the publication date of the paper. Younger faces are more recent papers. "I was published recently in a good journal and I'm getting lots of citations."
A smile means that the paper has been cited more times than expected (based on its age).
Larger smiles mean more citations.
A frown means that the paper has been cited far less than you might expect.
The raised eyebrows correlate with the impact factor (sort of - actually the Eigenfactor) of the journal in which the paper was published.
/ Frank Norman /Librarian / National Institute for Medical Research / The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK /