Correlation Between Altmetric Score and Citations in Pediatric Surgery Core Journals

Jeremy Chang, Nidhi Desai, Ankush Gosain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The impact of a scientific article has traditionally been measured by the impact factor (IF) of the journal it is published in and the number of times it is cited. However, citations have a lag period before the true impact of an article can be determined. The Altmetric score has emerged as a measure of the digital dissemination of a scientific article across multiple platforms, including Tweets, Facebook likes, and other social and popular media mentions. We hypothesized that Altmetric score would correlate with citations and journal IF in pediatric surgery. Methods: Using the previously identified 14 core journals of pediatric surgery, the top ten most-cited articles from each of these journals were identified for the year 2012, allowing for 5+ y of follow-up. For each article, we determined the number of times cited and the Altmetric score. For each journal, the 2012 IF and year in which the journal's Twitter account was established were determined. Bibliometric data were collected for the year 2015 to allow comparison of Altmetric scores across years. Descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficients were determined using the GraphPad PRISM software. Results: Citation information for n = 140 articles from 2012 to 2015 was obtained. In 2012, articles were cited 56,159 times (median 192, range 21-5029), and the median Altmetric score was 8 (range 0-4261). Citations correlated strongly with journal IF (r = 0.82, P < 0.0001). Altmetric scores in 2012 showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.1895, P = 0.0125) but did not correlate with IF (r = 0.0841, P = 0.1617). Altmetric scores in 2015 also showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.238, P = 0.0023) but additionally weakly correlated with IF (r = 0.2027, P = 0.0082). Increasing age of a journal's Twitter account resulted in increasing correlation between Altmetric score and citations in both 2012 (r = 0.299, P = 0.169) and 2015 (r = 0.512, P = 0.037). Twitter was the primary social media contributor to Altmetric score in 2012 and 2015, with decreasing contribution from Facebook. Conclusions: This study is the first to link traditional bibliometric measures with newer measures of digital dissemination for publications in pediatric surgery. Although the Altmetric score of the top cited articles did not correlate with journal IF, it did weakly correlate with citations. Interestingly, this correlation was strongest for journals with well-established Twitter accounts, indicating that, over time, the Altmetric score may emerge as a tool to predict future citations. Currently, Altmetric and traditional bibliometric measures appear to have distinct but complementary roles in measuring dissemination and impact of scientific articles in pediatric surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Volume243
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

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Journal Impact Factor
Bibliometrics
Pediatrics
Social Media
Publications
Software

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery

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Correlation Between Altmetric Score and Citations in Pediatric Surgery Core Journals. / Chang, Jeremy; Desai, Nidhi; Gosain, Ankush.

In: Journal of Surgical Research, Vol. 243, 01.11.2019, p. 52-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Correlation Between Altmetric Score and Citations in Pediatric Surgery Core Journals",
abstract = "Background: The impact of a scientific article has traditionally been measured by the impact factor (IF) of the journal it is published in and the number of times it is cited. However, citations have a lag period before the true impact of an article can be determined. The Altmetric score has emerged as a measure of the digital dissemination of a scientific article across multiple platforms, including Tweets, Facebook likes, and other social and popular media mentions. We hypothesized that Altmetric score would correlate with citations and journal IF in pediatric surgery. Methods: Using the previously identified 14 core journals of pediatric surgery, the top ten most-cited articles from each of these journals were identified for the year 2012, allowing for 5+ y of follow-up. For each article, we determined the number of times cited and the Altmetric score. For each journal, the 2012 IF and year in which the journal's Twitter account was established were determined. Bibliometric data were collected for the year 2015 to allow comparison of Altmetric scores across years. Descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficients were determined using the GraphPad PRISM software. Results: Citation information for n = 140 articles from 2012 to 2015 was obtained. In 2012, articles were cited 56,159 times (median 192, range 21-5029), and the median Altmetric score was 8 (range 0-4261). Citations correlated strongly with journal IF (r = 0.82, P < 0.0001). Altmetric scores in 2012 showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.1895, P = 0.0125) but did not correlate with IF (r = 0.0841, P = 0.1617). Altmetric scores in 2015 also showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.238, P = 0.0023) but additionally weakly correlated with IF (r = 0.2027, P = 0.0082). Increasing age of a journal's Twitter account resulted in increasing correlation between Altmetric score and citations in both 2012 (r = 0.299, P = 0.169) and 2015 (r = 0.512, P = 0.037). Twitter was the primary social media contributor to Altmetric score in 2012 and 2015, with decreasing contribution from Facebook. Conclusions: This study is the first to link traditional bibliometric measures with newer measures of digital dissemination for publications in pediatric surgery. Although the Altmetric score of the top cited articles did not correlate with journal IF, it did weakly correlate with citations. Interestingly, this correlation was strongest for journals with well-established Twitter accounts, indicating that, over time, the Altmetric score may emerge as a tool to predict future citations. Currently, Altmetric and traditional bibliometric measures appear to have distinct but complementary roles in measuring dissemination and impact of scientific articles in pediatric surgery.",
author = "Jeremy Chang and Nidhi Desai and Ankush Gosain",
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T1 - Correlation Between Altmetric Score and Citations in Pediatric Surgery Core Journals

AU - Chang, Jeremy

AU - Desai, Nidhi

AU - Gosain, Ankush

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N2 - Background: The impact of a scientific article has traditionally been measured by the impact factor (IF) of the journal it is published in and the number of times it is cited. However, citations have a lag period before the true impact of an article can be determined. The Altmetric score has emerged as a measure of the digital dissemination of a scientific article across multiple platforms, including Tweets, Facebook likes, and other social and popular media mentions. We hypothesized that Altmetric score would correlate with citations and journal IF in pediatric surgery. Methods: Using the previously identified 14 core journals of pediatric surgery, the top ten most-cited articles from each of these journals were identified for the year 2012, allowing for 5+ y of follow-up. For each article, we determined the number of times cited and the Altmetric score. For each journal, the 2012 IF and year in which the journal's Twitter account was established were determined. Bibliometric data were collected for the year 2015 to allow comparison of Altmetric scores across years. Descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficients were determined using the GraphPad PRISM software. Results: Citation information for n = 140 articles from 2012 to 2015 was obtained. In 2012, articles were cited 56,159 times (median 192, range 21-5029), and the median Altmetric score was 8 (range 0-4261). Citations correlated strongly with journal IF (r = 0.82, P < 0.0001). Altmetric scores in 2012 showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.1895, P = 0.0125) but did not correlate with IF (r = 0.0841, P = 0.1617). Altmetric scores in 2015 also showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.238, P = 0.0023) but additionally weakly correlated with IF (r = 0.2027, P = 0.0082). Increasing age of a journal's Twitter account resulted in increasing correlation between Altmetric score and citations in both 2012 (r = 0.299, P = 0.169) and 2015 (r = 0.512, P = 0.037). Twitter was the primary social media contributor to Altmetric score in 2012 and 2015, with decreasing contribution from Facebook. Conclusions: This study is the first to link traditional bibliometric measures with newer measures of digital dissemination for publications in pediatric surgery. Although the Altmetric score of the top cited articles did not correlate with journal IF, it did weakly correlate with citations. Interestingly, this correlation was strongest for journals with well-established Twitter accounts, indicating that, over time, the Altmetric score may emerge as a tool to predict future citations. Currently, Altmetric and traditional bibliometric measures appear to have distinct but complementary roles in measuring dissemination and impact of scientific articles in pediatric surgery.

AB - Background: The impact of a scientific article has traditionally been measured by the impact factor (IF) of the journal it is published in and the number of times it is cited. However, citations have a lag period before the true impact of an article can be determined. The Altmetric score has emerged as a measure of the digital dissemination of a scientific article across multiple platforms, including Tweets, Facebook likes, and other social and popular media mentions. We hypothesized that Altmetric score would correlate with citations and journal IF in pediatric surgery. Methods: Using the previously identified 14 core journals of pediatric surgery, the top ten most-cited articles from each of these journals were identified for the year 2012, allowing for 5+ y of follow-up. For each article, we determined the number of times cited and the Altmetric score. For each journal, the 2012 IF and year in which the journal's Twitter account was established were determined. Bibliometric data were collected for the year 2015 to allow comparison of Altmetric scores across years. Descriptive statistics and Pearson's correlation coefficients were determined using the GraphPad PRISM software. Results: Citation information for n = 140 articles from 2012 to 2015 was obtained. In 2012, articles were cited 56,159 times (median 192, range 21-5029), and the median Altmetric score was 8 (range 0-4261). Citations correlated strongly with journal IF (r = 0.82, P < 0.0001). Altmetric scores in 2012 showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.1895, P = 0.0125) but did not correlate with IF (r = 0.0841, P = 0.1617). Altmetric scores in 2015 also showed weak positive correlation with citations (r = 0.238, P = 0.0023) but additionally weakly correlated with IF (r = 0.2027, P = 0.0082). Increasing age of a journal's Twitter account resulted in increasing correlation between Altmetric score and citations in both 2012 (r = 0.299, P = 0.169) and 2015 (r = 0.512, P = 0.037). Twitter was the primary social media contributor to Altmetric score in 2012 and 2015, with decreasing contribution from Facebook. Conclusions: This study is the first to link traditional bibliometric measures with newer measures of digital dissemination for publications in pediatric surgery. Although the Altmetric score of the top cited articles did not correlate with journal IF, it did weakly correlate with citations. Interestingly, this correlation was strongest for journals with well-established Twitter accounts, indicating that, over time, the Altmetric score may emerge as a tool to predict future citations. Currently, Altmetric and traditional bibliometric measures appear to have distinct but complementary roles in measuring dissemination and impact of scientific articles in pediatric surgery.

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