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PLOS accesses Dimensions on Google Cloud’s BigQuery

By Alex Jackson October 13, 2020

Digital Science and PLOS are pleased to announce an agreement which will provide PLOS, the leading Open Access (OA) publisher with access to Dimensions on BigQuery. Dimensions is a comprehensive database that covers the full research and innovation lifecycle. BigQuery, Google Cloud’s serverless and secure multi-cloud data warehouse, enables PLOS to analyse the full metadata of Dimensions and use it to inform strategy and decision-making across the organization.

This follows the recent Digital Science partnership with Google Cloud, which was designed to remove barriers to data access, analysis and visualization for organizations across the research and innovation ecosystem. In today’s environment, stakeholders in the research and innovation ecosystem are seeking to make better, evidence-based decisions. To do this, they need greater access to contextual information, while at the same time protecting the security of their own data.

Dimensions is a research information platform which has been developed to provide a comprehensive view on the research process and activities  – going beyond publications and citations. While covering 112 million publications with 1.2 billion citations, Dimensions also interlinks data from $1.8 trillion of funded grants, 583,000 clinical trials, 40 million patents, 453k policy documents and 1.5 million datasets. 

PLOS has been using Dimensions Analytics and the Dimensions API since early 2020, and is also an existing Google BigQuery user. This latest agreement therefore fits seamlessly with PLOS’s own data strategy, providing their staff Dimensions data on Google BigQuery to help shape their business development strategy, monitor trends in the OA landscape such as providing evidence to support Open Access Transformative Agreements, and create custom dashboards and reports that can be securely accessed and shared across their organization. PLOS will now be able to combine their own internal data with Dimensions external data sources, helping create a 360° view of the research landscape.   

Kristen Monahan, Data & Insights Senior Manager, said:  “PLOS already relies on Dimensions for baseline data about institutions and funding to assist in our agreement discussions and uses a combination of Dimensions and internal data for business analytics. Also having access to Dimensions data via Google BigQuery gives us tremendous freedom to analyse and integrate Dimensions data across our organization.” 

Christian Herzog, CEO Dimensions, said: “We’re very pleased that, through this agreement, PLOS staff will get unprecedented access to the Dimensions database. This brings them full flexibility to perform advanced analytics at industry-leading speeds and create personalized dashboards and reports. More importantly, however, it brings them greater access to the contextual information in Dimensions that supports their thoughtful approach to informed, evidence-based decision-making.”

Users can now start exploring the free COVID datasets here –

Notes to editors:

PLOS is a nonprofit, open access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Since our founding in 2001, PLOS journals have helped break boundaries in research communication to provide more opportunities, choice, and context for researchers and readers. For more information, visit

Digital Science is a technology company working to make research more efficient. We invest in, nurture and support innovative businesses and technologies that make all parts of the research process more open and effective. Our portfolio includes admired brands including Altmetric, CC Grant Tracker, Dimensions, Figshare, Gigantum, ReadCube Papers, Symplectic, IFI Claims, GRID, Overleaf, Ripeta, Scismic and Writefull. Digital Science’s Consultancy group works with organisations around the world to create new insights based on data to support decision makers. We believe that together, we can help researchers make a difference. Visit and follow @digitalsci on Twitter.

Dimensions is a modern, innovative, linked-research-knowledge system that re-imagines discovery and access to research. Developed by Digital Science in collaboration with over 100 leading research organizations around the world, Dimensions brings together grants, publications, citations, alternative metrics, clinical trials, patents and datasets to deliver a platform that enables users to find and access the most relevant information faster, analyze the academic and broader outcomes of research, and gather insights to inform future strategy. Visit the Dimensions website at and find us on Twitter @DSDimensions.

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