Impact and alternative metrics for medical publishing: our experience with International Orthopaedics
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- Scarlat, M.M., Mavrogenis, A.F., Pećina, M. et al. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) (2015) 39: 1459. doi:10.1007/s00264-015-2766-y
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This paper compares the traditional tools of calculation for a journal’s efficacy and visibility with the new tools that have arrived from the Internet, social media and search engines. The examples concern publications of orthopaedic surgery and in particular International Orthopaedics.
Methods and results
Until recently, the prestige of publications, authors or journals was evaluated by the number of citations using the traditional citation metrics, most commonly the impact factor. Over the last few years, scientific medical literature has developed exponentially. The Internet has dramatically changed the way of sharing and the speed of flow of medical information. New tools have allowed readers from all over the world to access information and record their experience. Web platforms such as Facebook® and Twitter® have allowed for inputs from the general public. Professional sites such as LinkedIn® and more specialised sites such as ResearchGate®, BioMed Central® and OrthoEvidence® have provided specific information on defined fields of science. Scientific and professional blogs provide free access quality information. Therefore, in this new era of advanced wireless technology and online medical communication, the prestige of a paper should also be evaluated by alternative metrics (altmetrics) that measure the visibility of the scientific information by collecting Internet citations, number of downloads, number of hits on the Internet, number of tweets and likes of scholarly articles by newspapers, blogs, social media and other sources of data.
Conclusions and discussion
This article provides insights into altmetrics and informs the reader about current tools for optimal visibility and citation of their work. It also includes useful information about the performance of International Orthopaedics and the bias between traditional publication metrics and the new alternatives.