The impact factors of social media users’ forwarding behavior of COVID-19 vaccine topic: Based on empirical analysis of Chinese Weibo users – PMC

Abstract:  Introduction

Social media, an essential source of public access to information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, has a significant effect on the transmission of information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines and helps the public gain correct insights into the effectiveness and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines. The forwarding behavior of social media users on posts concerned with COVID-19 vaccine topics can rapidly disseminate vaccine information in a short period, which has a significant effect on transmission and helps the public access relevant information. However, the factors of social media users’ forwarding posts are still uncertain thus far. In this paper, we investigated the factors of the forwarding COVID-19 vaccines Weibo posts on Chinese social media and verified the correlation between social network characteristics, Weibo textual sentiment characteristics, and post forwarding.


This paper used data mining, machine learning, sentiment analysis, social network analysis, and regression analysis. Using “???? (COVID-19 vaccine)” as the keyword, we used data mining to crawl 121,834 Weibo posts on Sina Weibo from 1 January 2021 to 31 May 2021. Weibo posts not closely correlated with the topic of the COVID-19 vaccines were filtered out using machine learning. In the end, 3,158 posts were used for data analysis. The proportions of positive sentiment and negative sentiment in the textual of Weibo posts were calculated through sentiment analysis. On that basis, the sentiment characteristics of Weibo posts were determined. The social network characteristics of information transmission on the COVID-19 vaccine topic were determined through social network analysis. The correlation between social network characteristics, sentiment characteristics of the text, and the forwarding volume of posts was verified through regression analysis.


The results suggest that there was a significant positive correlation between the degree of posting users in the social network structure and the amount of forwarding. The relationship between the closeness centrality and the forwarding volume was significantly positive. The betweenness centrality was significantly positively correlated with the forwarding volume. There was no significant relationship between the number of posts containing more positive sentiments and the forwarding volume of posts. There was a significant positive correlation between the number of Weibo posts containing more negative sentiments and the forwarding volume.


According to the characteristics of users, COVID-19 vaccine posts from opinion leaders, “gatekeepers,” and users with high-closeness centrality are more likely to be reposted. Users with these characteristics should be valued for their important role in disseminating information about COVID-19 vaccines. In addition, the sentiment contained in the Weibo post is an important factor influencing the public to forward vaccine posts. Special attention should be paid to the negative sentimental tendency contained in this post on Weibo to mitigate the negative impact of the information epidemic and improve the transmission effect of COVID-19 vaccine information.

Unified citation parameters for journals and individuals: Beyond the journal impact factor or the h-index alone | SpringerLink

Abstract:  We seek a unified and distinctive citation description of both journals and individuals. The journal impact factor has a restrictive definition that constrains its extension to individuals, whereas the h-index for individuals can easily be applied to journals. Going beyond any single parameter, the shape of each negative slope Hirsch curve of citations vs. rank index is distinctive. This shape can be described through five minimal parameters or ‘flags’: the h-index itself on the curve; the average citation of each segment on either side of h; and the two axis endpoints. We obtain the five flags from real data for two journals and 10 individual faculty, showing they provide unique citation fingerprints, enabling detailed comparative assessments. A computer code is provided to calculate five flags as the output, from citation data as the input. Since papers (citations) can form nodes (links) of a network, Hirsch curves and five flags could carry over to describe local degree sequences of general networks.


Grants and hiring: will impact factors and h-indices be scrapped?

“Universities, scientific academies, funding institutions and other organizations around the world will have the option to sign a document that would oblige signatories to change how they assess researchers for jobs, promotions and grants.

Signatories would commit to moving away from standard metrics such as impact factors, and adopting a system that rewards researchers for the quality of their work and their full contributions to science. “People are questioning the way they are being evaluated,” says Stephane Berghmans, director of research and innovation at the European University Association (EUA). The Brussels-based group helped to draft the agreement, which is known as the Agreement on Reforming Researcher Assessment. “This was the time.” 

Universities and other endorsers will be able to sign the agreement from 28 September. The European Commission (EC) announced plans last November for putting together the agreement; it proposed that assessment criteria reward ethics and integrity, teamwork and a variety of outputs, along with ‘research quality’ and impact. In January, the commission began to draft the agreement with the EUA and others….”

Beyond just counting the beans: Reimagining research indicators to favour diversity | Zenodo

Abstract:  The increase in the availability of data relevant to research performance evaluation over the past ten years has been transformational. Despite this and the parallel increase in the power of computational tools the actual indicators used in practice remain stubbornly limited to citation counts and simple derivatives such as impact factors, h-indices and field-normalised counts. The lack of diversity in indicators, along with a lack of diversity in data sources, has aligned with a lack of diversity in the academy to strengthen and perpetuate a status quo where high prestige researchers at high prestige institutions gain greater resources, leading to more outputs in which they cite each other, increasing citation counts and propelling the whole cycle forward.

This talk will propose some simple, yet radical, shifts in how we think about research performance indicators. Using open data and transparent analysis it will imagine a world in which we stop asking how to count more beans, but instead how different they are.

An analysis of journalism articles achieving high Altmetric attention scores – ScienceOpen

Abstract:  New methods of judging the impact of academic articles now include alternative metrics, and the goal of this study was to provide an insight into the journals and papers with top Altmetric attention scores (AAS) in the field of journalism. Scopus and Dimensions were used as the primary data sources. Fifteen journalism journals were identified from Scopus, and papers from these journals with an Altmetric Attention Score of over 100 were collected from Dimensions as the study’s sample, which comprised 87 papers. Most of the papers with high AAS were published after 2017, and five were published in 2022. The sample included a larger number of closed access articles ( n = 50) than open access ( n = 37), although analysis revealed that open access articles had higher median Tweets than closed access. Articles on journalism practice were more likely to receive attention from news outlets. None of the papers with high AAS are highly cited, which may be due to the limited time to accumulate citations. The journal with the highest impact factor (Digital Journalism) did not have the greatest number of papers with high AAS, but had far higher scores on Twitter engagement than the other journals. The results do not show any correlation between impact factors and citation metrics and social metrics.


The relationship between open access publishing and referencing

“49.9% of papers published in 2019 and 2020 are currently available as OA and 51.3% of references from all papers published during those two years are to papers that are currently available as OA. These two percentages are more similar than the percentage of the papers published between 2010 and 2020 that are OA (i.e., 43.3%), suggesting that the OA percentage of the references of papers is not simply a reflection of the access status of the available papers. When we investigate by OA access type, we observe a similar pattern. The exception is gold OA, with a difference of 9.2 percentage points as opposed to 11.9 percentage points. The results suggest that references in recent papers are more open than one would expect, given OA publication practices in the last decade and that they are more open that the publications in which they appear. This demonstrates that the use of OA exceeds the production of it.”

Does the journal impact factor predict individual article citation rate in otolaryngology journals? – Salman Hussain, Abdullah Almansouri, Lojaine Allanqawi, Justine Philteos, Vincent Wu, Yvonne Chan, 2022

Abstract:  Objective

Citation skew is a phenomenon that refers to the unequal citation distribution of articles in a journal. The objective of this study was to establish whether citation skew exists in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) journals and to elucidate whether journal impact factor (JIF) was an accurate indicator of citation rate of individual articles.


Journals in the field of OHNS were identified using Journal Citation Reports. After extraction of the number of citations in 2020 for all primary research articles and review articles published in 2018 and 2019, a detailed citation analysis was performed to determine citation distribution. The main outcome of this study was to establish whether citation skew exists within OHNS literature and whether JIF was an accurate prediction of individual article citation rate.


Thirty-one OHNS journals were identified. Citation skew was prevalent across OHNS literature with 65% of publications achieving citation rates below the JIF. Furthermore, 48% of publications gathered either zero or one citation. The mean and median citations for review articles, 3.66 and 2, respectively, were higher than the mean and median number of citations for primary research articles, 1 and 2.35, respectively (P < .001). A statistically significant correlation was found between citation rate and JIF (r = 0.394, P = 0.028).


The current results demonstrate a citation skew among OHNS journals, which is in keeping with findings from other surgical subspecialties. The majority of publications did not achieve citation rates equal to the JIF. Thus, the JIF should not be used to measure the quality of individual articles. Otolaryngologists should assess the quality of research through the use of other metrics, such as the evaluation of sound scientific methodology, and the relevance of the articles.

SocArXiv Papers | Misapplied Metrics: Variation in the h-index within and between disciplines

Abstract:  Scholars and university administrators have a vested interest in building equitable valuation systems of academic work for both practical (e.g., resource distribution) and more lofty purposes (e.g., what constitutes “good” research). Well-established inequalities in science pose a difficult challenge to those interested in constructing a parsimonious and fair method for valuation as stratification occurs within academic disciplines, but also between them. Despite warnings against the practice, the popular h-index has been formally used as one such metric of valuation. In this article, we use the case of the h-index to examine how within and between discipline inequalities extend from the reliance of metrics, an illustration of the risk involved in the so-called “tyranny of metrics.” Using data from over 42,000 high performing scientists across 120 disciplines, we construct multilevel models predicting the h-index. Results suggest significant within-discipline variation in several forms, including a female penalty, as well as significant between discipline variation. Conclusions include recommendations to avoid using the h-index or similar metrics for valuation purposes.

The Altmetric Attention Score Is Associated With Citation Rates and May Reflect Academic Impact in the Total Joint Arthroplasty Literature – Kyle N. Kunze, Amar S. Vadhera, Evan M. Polce, Carlos A. Higuera, Ahmed Siddiqi, Jorge Chahla, Nicolas S. Piuzzi, 2022

Abstract:  Background: Given the increasing interest and potential use of social media for the promotion of orthopedic literature, there is a need to better understand Altmetrics. Purposes: We sought to determine the relationship between the Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) and the number of citations for articles on total joint arthroplasty (TJA) published in orthopedics journals. We also sought to determine the predictors of greater social media attention for these articles. Methods: Articles on TJA published in Bone and Joint Journal (BJJ), Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS), Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research (CORR), Journal of Arthroplasty, Journal of Knee Surgery, Hip International, and Acta Orthopaedica in 2016 were extracted (n = 498). One-way analysis of variance with Bonferroni corrections was used to compare AAS and citations across journals. Multivariate regressions were used to determine predictors of social media attention and number of citations. Results: The mean AAS and number of citations were 7.5 (range: 0–289) and 16.7 (range: 0–156), respectively. Significant between-group effects were observed according to journal for AAS and number of citations. Publishing an article in JBJS was the strongest predictor of higher number of citations. Publishing an article in BJJ was the only independent predictor of higher AAS, while publishing an article in JBJS or CORR trended toward statistical significance. A higher AAS was a significant predictor of a higher number of citations. Number of citations and number of study references were positive predictors of greater social media attention on Twitter and Facebook. Conclusions: In articles on TJA published in 7 journals in 2016, a higher AAS was a associated with a higher number of citations. Various bibliometric characteristics were found to be significantly associated with greater social media attention; the most common influences were number of citations and number of references. Researchers in orthopedics can use this information when considering how to assess the impact of their work.


Altmetric and bibliometric analysis of influential articles in reproductive biology, 1980–2019 – Reproductive BioMedicine Online

Abstract:  Research question

What are the most influential articles in reproductive biology journals from 1980 to 2019 according to Altmetric Attention Score (AAS), number of citations and Relative Citation Ratio (RCR)?



Cross-sectional study of reproductive biology articles indexed in the National Institutes of Health Open Citation Collection from 1980 to 2019. Data were downloaded on 20 May 2021. The 100 articles with highest AAS, RCR and number of citations were analysed.



Twenty-one reproductive biology journals were identified, including 120,069 articles published from 1980 to 2019. In total 227 reproductive biology classics were identified due to some overlap between the three lists. Compared with the 100 articles with the highest AAS (after excluding articles featured on both lists), the 100 top-cited articles were older (2014 versus 2001, mean difference [95% confidence interval] 13.5 [11.5, 15.5]), less likely to be open access (64% versus 85%), more likely to be reviews (42% versus 12%) and less likely to be observational studies (9% versus 51%) and randomized clinical trials (0% versus 5%). These same trends were observed in analyses comparing the 100 articles with highest AAS to the 100 articles with highest RCR. The most common topic was assisted reproduction, but prominent topics included infertility for top AAS articles, reproductive technology in animals for top-cited articles, and polycystic ovary syndrome for top RCR articles.



Formerly, influential articles in reproductive biology journals were evaluated by absolute citation rates and subject to limitations of conventional bibliometric analysis. This is the first comprehensive study to use altmetrics and citation-based metrics to identify reproductive biology classics.

Massive covidization of research citations and the citation elite | PNAS

Abstract:  Massive scientific productivity accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. We evaluated the citation impact of COVID-19 publications relative to all scientific work published in 2020 to 2021 and assessed the impact on scientist citation profiles. Using Scopus data until August 1, 2021, COVID-19 items accounted for 4% of papers published, 20% of citations received to papers published in 2020 to 2021, and >30% of citations received in 36 of the 174 disciplines of science (up to 79.3% in general and internal medicine). Across science, 98 of the 100 most-cited papers published in 2020 to 2021 were related to COVID-19; 110 scientists received ?10,000 citations for COVID-19 work, but none received ?10,000 citations for non–COVID-19 work published in 2020 to 2021. For many scientists, citations to their COVID-19 work already accounted for more than half of their total career citation count. Overall, these data show a strong covidization of research citations across science, with major impact on shaping the citation elite.


Impact factions: assessing the citation impact of different types of open access repositories | SpringerLink

Institutional repositories (IR) maintained by research libraries play a central role in providing open access to taxpayer-funded research products. It is difficult to measure the extent to which IR contribute to new scholarship because publisher self-archiving policies typically require researchers to cite the “version of record” of a manuscript even when an IR copy is accessed to conduct the research. While some studies report an open access (OA) citation advantage resulting from the availability of self-archived or “green” OA manuscripts, few have sought to measure an OA citation effect of IR separately from disciplinary repositories, including arXiv and PubMed Central. In this study, the authors present a bibliometric analysis examining correlations between search engine performance of items in IR, OA availability from different types of repositories, and citations. The analysis uses a novel, open dataset of IR access and usage derived from five months of Google search engine results pages (SERP) data, which were aggregated by the Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal (RAMP) web service. Findings indicate that making OA copies of manuscripts available in self-archiving or “green” repositories results in a positive citation effect, although the disciplinary repositories within the sample significantly outperform the other types of OA services analyzed. Also evident is an increase in citations when a single manuscript is available in multiple OA sources.

Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment

“As signatories of this Agreement, we agree on the need to reform research assessment practices. Our vision is that the assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research. This requires basing assessment primarily on qualitative judgement, for which peer review is central, supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators. Among other purposes, this is fundamental for: deciding which researchers to recruit, promote or reward, selecting which research proposals to fund, and identifying which research units and organisations to support….”


Reviewing the role of metrics in research assessment – UKRI

“As part of FRAP, an expert panel has been invited to lead a review of the role of metrics in research management and assessment.

The Future Research Assessment Programme (FRAP) is led by the four UK higher education funding bodies.

Tightly-defined objectives

This review, The Metric Tide Revisited, will take a short, sharp, evidence-informed look at current and potential uses of metrics against a set of tightly-defined objectives to:

revisit the conclusions and recommendations of the last detailed review of these questions, The Metric Tide (2015), and assess progress against these
consider whether developments over recent years in the infrastructures, methodologies and uses of research metrics negate or change any of those 2015 conclusions or suggest additional priorities
look afresh at the role of metrics in any future research excellence framework and consider whether design changes now under consideration as part of the FRAP suggest similar or different conclusions to those reached in 2015
offer updated advice to UK Research and Innovation and the UK’s higher education funding bodies on the most effective ways of supporting and incentivising responsible research assessment and responsible uses of metrics….”