Scientific vs. Public Attention: A Comparison of Top Cited Papers in WoS and Top Papers by Altmetric Score

  • Sumit Kumar BanshalEmail author
  • Aparna Basu
  • Vivek Kumar Singh
  • Pranab K. Muhuri
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 856)


Alternative metrics or altmetrics are article level metrics that have been used to quantify the attention given to scholarly papers in online fora or social media. In a way it was sought to replace journal level metrics such as the Impact Factor and also to see if altmetric scores could predict highly cited papers. Early studies, done soon after altmetrics was proposed in 2010, were somewhat premature as the use of social media was not widely prevalent, and their results may no longer be relevant at the present time when use levels have risen significantly. In 2016, has tracked over 17 million mentions of 2.7 million different research outputs. Of these, the top 100 most-discussed journal articles of 2016 were presented with details of journals in which the research was published, affiliations of authors, fields, countries, etc. Our attempt is to obtain a bibliometric profile of these papers with high altmetric scores to see the underlying patterns and characteristics that motivate high public attention. In parallel we have analyzed top 100 highly cited papers from the same year. Our objective in this empirical study is to examine the similarities and distinguishing features of scientific attention as measured by citations and public attention in online fora.

A significant finding is that there is very little overlap between very highly cited papers and those that received the highest altmetric scores.


Altmetrics Social media Impact analysis Web of science Science Citation Index-Expanded 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sumit Kumar Banshal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aparna Basu
    • 1
  • Vivek Kumar Singh
    • 2
  • Pranab K. Muhuri
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceSouth Asian UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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