Can altmetric mentions predict later citations? A test of validity on data from ResearchGate and three social media platforms | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to explore and validate the question “whether altmetric mentions can predict citations to scholarly articles”. The paper attempts to explore the nature and degree of correlation between altmetrics (from ResearchGate and three social media platforms) and citations.


A large size data sample of scholarly articles published from India for the year 2016 is obtained from the Web of Science database and the corresponding altmetric data are obtained from ResearchGate and three social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and blog through aggregator). Correlations are computed between early altmetric mentions and later citation counts, for data grouped in different disciplinary groups.


Results show that the correlation between altmetric mentions and citation counts are positive, but weak. Correlations are relatively higher in the case of data from ResearchGate as compared to the data from the three social media platforms. Further, significant disciplinary differences are observed in the degree of correlations between altmetrics and citations.

Research limitations/implications

The results support the idea that altmetrics do not necessarily reflect the same kind of impact as citations. However, articles that get higher altmetric attention early may actually have a slight citation advantage. Further, altmetrics from academic social networks like ResearchGate are more correlated with citations, as compared to social media platforms.


The paper has novelty in two respects. First, it takes altmetric data for a window of about 1–1.5 years after the article publication and citation counts for a longer citation window of about 3–4 years after the publication of article. Second, it is one of the first studies to analyze data from the ResearchGate platform, a popular academic social network, to understand the type and degree of correlations.

Is Sci-Hub Increasing Visibility of Indian Research Papers? An Analytical Evaluation

Abstract:  Sci-Hub, founded by Alexandra Elbakyan in 2011 in Kazakhstan has, over the years, emerged as a very popular source for researchers to download scientific papers. It is believed that Sci-Hub contains more than 76 million academic articles. However, recently three foreign academic publishers (Elsevier, Wiley and American Chemical Society) have filed a lawsuit against Sci-Hub and LibGen before the Delhi High Court and prayed for complete blocking these websites in India. It is in this context, that this paper attempts to find out how many Indian research papers are available in Sci-Hub and who downloads them. The citation advantage of Indian research papers available on Sci-Hub is analysed, with results confirming that such an advantage do exist. 

The open access advantage for studies of human electrophysiology: Impact on citations and Altmetrics – ScienceDirect


• Barriers to accessing science contributes to knowledge inequalities

• 35% of articles published in the last 20 years in electrophysiology are open access.

• Open access articles received 9–21% more citations and 39% more Altmetric mentions.

• Green open access (author archived) enjoyed similar benefit as Gold open access.

• Studies of human electrophysiology enjoy the “open access advantage” in citations….”


What happens when a journal converts to Open Access? A bibliometric analysis

Abstract:  In recent years, increased stakeholder pressure to transition research to Open Access has led to many journals converting, or ‘flipping’, from a closed access (CA) to an open access (OA) publishing model. Changing the publishing model can influence the decision of authors to submit their papers to a journal, and increased article accessibility may influence citation behaviour. In this paper we aimed to understand how flipping a journal to an OA model influences the journal’s future publication volumes and citation impact. We analysed two independent sets of journals that had flipped to an OA model, one from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and one from the Open Access Directory (OAD), and compared their development with two respective control groups of similar journals. For bibliometric analyses, journals were matched to the Scopus database. We assessed changes in the number of articles published over time, as well as two citation metrics at the journal and article level: the normalised impact factor (IF) and the average relative citations (ARC), respectively. Our results show that overall, journals that flipped to an OA model increased their publication output compared to journals that remained closed. Mean normalised IF and ARC also generally increased following the flip to an OA model, at a greater rate than was observed in the control groups. However, the changes appear to vary largely by scientific discipline. Overall, these results indicate that flipping to an OA publishing model can bring positive changes to a journal.


Factors associated with high Altmetric Attention Score in dermatology research – Iglesias?Puzas – – Australasian Journal of Dermatology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Background

Alternative metrics are emerging scores to assess the impact of research beyond the academic environment.


To analyse whether a correlation exists between manuscript characteristics and alternative citation metrics.

Materials and methods

This bibliometric analysis included original articles published in the five journals with the highest impact factors during 2019.

We extracted the following characteristics from each record: journal, publication month, title, number of authors, type of institution, type of publication, research topic, number of references, financial support, free/open access status and literature citations. The main measure was the identification of variables of higher social attention (measured by the Altmetric Attention Score ?25) using binary logistic regression. Model performance was assessed by the change in the area under the curve (AUC).


A total of 840 manuscripts were included. The Altmetric scores across all five journals ranged from 0 to 465 (mean 12.51 ± 33.7; median 3). The most prevalent topic was skin cancer, and the study design was clinical science. The scientific journal (P < 0.001), the presence of conflicts of interest (OR 2.2 [95%CI 1.3–3.7]; P = 0.002) and open access status OR 3.2 [95%CI 1.6–6.7]; P = 0.002) were found as independent predictors of high Altmetric scores.


Our study suggests an article´s social recognition may be dependent on some manuscript characteristics, thus providing useful information on the dissemination of dermatology research to the general public.

Impact of Conventional and Open Access Publications in Orthopaedic Surgery

Abstract:  Introduction: 

The academic impact of open access publications compared with conventional publications in orthopaedic surgery is not well described. The primary objective of this study was to compare the number of academic citations and social media posts between recent conventional and open access publications in orthopaedic surgery. Secondary objectives of this study were (1) to determine the correlation between academic citations and social media posts and (2) to study the trend of academic citations and social media posts over time.


An internet-based study was performed on 3,720 articles from five high-impact orthopaedic journals and their associated open access journals from March 2017 to February 2019, including 2,929 conventional and 791 open access journal publications. Academic citations were quantified using Google Scholar and Web of Science, and social media mentions using Twitter. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for comparisons of nonparametric data, and the Spearman rank correlation coefficient was calculated for correlations.


The average number of academic citations per article was 10.1 on Google Scholar and 6.0 on Web of Science. The average number of Twitter posts per article was 1.6. Conventional publications had markedly more citations than open access publications on Google Scholar and Web of Science. Open access publications had markedly more Twitter posts, but the effect size was small and unimportant. Academic citations were weakly correlated with social media posts. On average, orthopaedic publications accrue 7.4 citations per year on Google Scholar and 4.6 citations per year on Web of Science.


Our findings support a citation advantage to conventional publication. Publications in open access journals are cited less frequently and less rapidly compared with those in conventional journals. The use of social media for orthopaedic research is effectively equivalent between conventional and open access journals and continues to grow.


The open access effect in social media exposure of scholarly articles: A matched-pair analysis – ScienceDirect



• The paper examines OA effect when a journal provides two types of link to the same subscription article: OA and paid content.

• OA links perform better than paid content links. When not indicating the OA status of a link, the performance drops greatly.

• OA benefits all countries, but its positive impact is slightly greater for developed countries.

• Combining social media dissemination with OA appears to enhance the reach of scientific information….”


Attracting new users or business as usual? A case study of converting academic subscription based journals to open access | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press Journals

Abstract:  This paper studies a selection of eleven Norwegian journals in the humanities and social sciences and their conversion from subscription to open access, a move heavily incentivized by governmental mandates and open access policies. By investigating the journals’ visiting logs in the period 2014-2019, the study finds that a conversion to open access induces higher visiting numbers; all journals in the study had a significant increase which can be attributed to the conversion. Converting a journal had no spillover in terms of increased visits to previously published articles still behind the paywall in the same journals. Visits from previously subscribing Norwegian higher education institutions did not account for the increase in visits, indicating that the increase must be accounted for by visitors from other sectors. The results could be relevant for policymakers concerning the effects of strict polices targeting economically vulnerable national journals, and could further inform journal owners and editors on the effects of converting to open access.


Sci-Hub Citation Study Confuses Causes With Effects – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Journal articles downloaded from Sci-Hub, an illegal site of pirated materials, were cited nearly twice as many times as non-downloaded articles, reports a new paper published online in the journal, Scientometrics….

Correa and colleagues could have added either one of these sources of usage data to their model to verify whether the Sci-Hub indicator continued to independently predict future citations. That would have confirmed whether Sci-Hub was a cause of — instead of merely associated with — future citations. Without such a control, the authors may have fumbled both their analysis and conclusion.

Sci-Hub may indeed lead to more article citations, although it is impossible to reach that conclusion from this study….”

Mandating access: assessing the NIH’s public access policy | Economic Policy | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  In April 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) implemented the Public Access Policy (PAP), which mandated that the full text of NIH-supported articles be made freely available on PubMed Central – the NIH’s repository of biomedical research. This paper uses 600,000 NIH articles and a matched comparison sample to examine how the PAP impacted researcher access to the biomedical literature and publishing patterns in biomedicine. Though some estimates allow for large citation increases after the PAP, the most credible estimates suggest that the PAP had a relatively modest effect on citations, which is consistent with most researchers having widespread access to the biomedical literature prior to the PAP, leaving little room to increase access. I also find that NIH articles are more likely to be published in traditional subscription-based journals (as opposed to ‘open access’ journals) after the PAP. This indicates that any discrimination the PAP induced, by subscription-based journals against NIH articles, was offset by other factors – possibly the decisions of editors and submission behaviour of authors.