Using altmetrics for assessing impact of highly-cited books in Chinese Book Citation Index

  • Xia Nan
  • Ming Li
  • Jin ShiEmail author


With the rapid development of Internet technology, online academic communications are increasingly prevalent, the traditional ways of academic evaluation can’t comprehensively reflect the multi-dimensional impact of scientific publications, therefore altmetrics is widely concerned by scholars because of its objectivity, timeliness and openness. Based on Douban Reading platform, this paper uses descriptive statistical analysis, grouping analysis, correlation analysis and other statistical methods to conduct the altmetrics evaluation of 1000 highly-cited books in Chinese Book Citation Index. The results show that there is a weak correlation between citations and altmetrics indicators, suggesting that they reflect different aspects of books’ impact and they are complementary in the academic evaluation. What’s more, altmetrics indicators are different on discipline and year, the more applicable the discipline is, the higher the values of altmetrics indicators are. Meanwhile, compared with old books, new books published in recent years have an advantage in the altmetrics evaluation.


Altmetrics Impact evaluation Chinese academic books Academic evaluation Chinese Book Citation Index 



This research is financially supported by research Grants from the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 18FTQ005).


  1. Banshal, S. K., Singh, V. K., Muhuri, P.K. & Mayr, P. (2019). Disciplinary Variations in Altmetric Coverage of Scholarly Articles. In Proceedings in 17th international conference on scientometrics & informetrics (ISSI), September 2019, Rome, Italy, (pp. 1870–1881).Google Scholar
  2. Costas, R., Zahedi, Z., & Wouters, P. (2015). Do "altmetrics" correlate with citations? Extensive comparison of altmetric indicators with citations from a multidisciplinary perspective. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(10), 2003–2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Didegah, F., Bowman, T. D., & Holmberg, K. (2018). On the differences between citations and altmetrics: An investigation of factors driving altmetrics versus citations for finnish articles. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 69(6), 832–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Hammarfelt, B. (2014). Using altmetrics for assessing research impact in the humanities. Scientometrics,101(2), 1419–1430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Han, Y., Zhou, Y., Yang, W., & Liu, X. (2018). Analysis of altmetrics indicators for academic books. Library and Information Service, 62(14), 91–97.Google Scholar
  6. He, J., & Cai, R. (2016). Research on evaluation system of Chinese books. Journal of Academic Library, 34(3), 51–58+15.Google Scholar
  7. Kousha, K., & Thelwall, M. (2015). Web indicators for research evaluation. Part 3: books and non standard outputs. El Profesional de La Información,24(6), 724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lei, S., & Lv, X. (2017). Research on the impact evaluation of academic books from the perspective of Altmetrics. Journal of Southwest University for Nationalities (Natural Science Edition),38(6), 225–231.Google Scholar
  9. Li, M., & Chen, M. (2018). Exploration of hierarchical framework of altmetrics evaluation indicators for academic books. Journal of Modern Information,38(5), 106–109.Google Scholar
  10. Li, M., & Chen, M. (2019). Analysis of advantages, system and difficulties of Altmetrics evaluation for Chinese academic books. Journal of Southwest University for Nationalities (Natural Science Edition),40(2), 236–240.Google Scholar
  11. Lin, X. (2016). Construction of academic impact evaluation system of electronic books based on altmetrics: Taking Springer electronic books as an example. Publishing Research,4, 85–89.Google Scholar
  12. Ma, N., & Song, Z. (2019). Research on impact evaluation of electronic books in mathematics based on Bookmetrix. Library Journal,38(3), 72–79.Google Scholar
  13. Peters, I., Kraker, P., Lex, E., Gumpenberger, C., & Gorraiz, J. (2016). Research data explored: An extended analysis of citations. Scientometrics,107(2), 723–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Priem, J., Groth, P., & Taraborelli, D. (2012). The altmetrics collection. PloS One,7(11), 48753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Rajesh, P., Vedika, G., Kumar, S. V., David, P., Kumar, S. V., et al. (2018). Book impact assessment: A quantitative and text-based exploratory analysis. Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems,34(5), 3101–3110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2014). Do blog citations correlate with a higher number of future citations? Research blogs as a potential source for alternative metrics. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology,65(5), 1018–1027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Snijder, R. (2016). Revisiting an open access monograph experiment: Measuring citations and tweets 5 years later. Scientometrics,109(3), 1855–1875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Thelwall, M. (2016). Interpreting correlations between citation counts and other indicators. Scientometrics,108(1), 337–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Torres-Salinas, D., Robinson-Garcia, N., & Gorraiz, J. (2017). Filling the citation gap: Measuring the multidimensional impact of the academic book at institutional level with PlumX. Scientometrics,113(3), 1371–1384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Xiong, X., Gao, F., & Guo, L. (2016). Discussion on evaluation methods of academic impact of foreign e-books: Comparison of examples based on BKCI, Scopus Article Metrics and Bookmetrix. Journal of Modern Information,36(10), 118–122.Google Scholar
  21. Yao, L., & Chen, Z. (2016). Research on impact evaluation system of national library of achievements in philosophy and social sciences. Journal of Southwest University for Nationalities (Natural Science Edition),37(6), 232–236.Google Scholar
  22. Zhang, Y., Pan, Y., Yuan, J., Su, C., Ma, Z., Liu, N., et al. (2015). On the construction of academic impact evaluation system of Chinese science and technology books from multi-dimensional perspective. Library and Information Service,59(7), 69–76.Google Scholar
  23. Zuccala, A. A., Verleysen, F. T., Cornacchia, R., & Engels, T. C. E. (2015). Altmetrics for the humanities: Comparing Goodreads reader ratings with citations to history books. Aslib Journal of Information Management,67(3), 320–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information ManagementNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations