The PLOS ALM API is used by the PLOS journal websites, ALM Reports, and the PLOS Search indexer, altogether more than 8 million API requests every month. Martin Fenner wrote a post on his work with the PLOS ALM API. He talks about making an API that is simple, fast, and fun to use.
The Search API is a great tool to find interesting PLOS articles, and the ALM API can then collect metrics about these articles. Using the R statistical programming language is one of the easiest ways to look at these metrics. Below are a few example visualizations, the source code to all of them can be found in the plosOpenR Github repository.
We are excited to announce the upcoming release of version 2.0 of the PLoS Article Level Metrics application on July 31. Version 2.0 includes many changes under the hood, and now uses Ruby 1.9 and Rails 3.2. The biggest improvements are in how the application processes requests to external services in the background. As with the ALM 1.x application, we will make the source code available at https://github.com/articlemetrics/alm.
The release of ALM 2.0 also includes a few changes to the API, and starting July 31, requests to the PLoS ALM API at http://alm.plos.org have to use the new API format. We have documented the changes in PLoS ALM 2.0 API Changes and at https://github.com/articlemetrics/alm/wiki/API. Please ask any questions you might have in the PLoS API Developers Google Group at https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/plos-api-developers.