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Predictive value of Altmetric Score on prospective citation and bibliometric impact: rise of a new argot

By David BT Robinson, Arfon G Powell, Jennifer Waterman, Luke G Hopkins, Osian P James, Richard J Egan, Wyn G Lewis

Posted 20 May 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.15.20102830

Background Bibliometric and Altmetric analyses provide important but alternative perspectives regarding research article impact. This study aimed to establish whether Altmetric Score (AS) was associated with citation rate, independent of bibliometrics. Method Citations for a previously reported cohort of 100 most cited articles associated with the keyword Surgery (2018, Powell et al), were collected and a three year interval Citation Gain (iCG) evaluated. Previous citation count, Citation Rate Index (CRI), AS, five year Impact Factor, and Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (OCEBM) levels were used to classify citation rate prospect. Results During follow-up, the median iCG was 161 (IQR 83 to 281), with 73 and 62 articles receiving an increase in CRI and AS, respectively. Median CRI and AS increase were 2.8 (-0.1 to 7.7) and 3 (0 to 4), respectively. Receiver Operator Characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed that CRI (AUC 0.86 (95% CI 0.79 to 0.93), p<0.001) and AS (Area Under Curve (AUC) 0.65 (95% CI 0.55 to 0.76), p=0.008) were associated with higher iCG. AS critical threshold greater than or equal to 2.0 was associated with better iCG when dichotomised at iCG median (OR=4.94, 95% CI 1.99 to 12.26, p=0.001) and iCG Upper Quartile (UQ, OR=4.13, 95% CI 1.60 to 10.66, p=0.003). Multivariable analysis identified that only CRI was independently associated with iCG when dichotomised at the median (OR 18.22, 95% CI 6.70 to 49.55, p<0.001) and UQ (OR 19.30, 95% CI 4.23 to 88.15, p<0.001). Conclusion Citation Rate Indices and Altmetric Scores are important predictors of interval Citation Gain, and better at predicting future citations than the historical and established Impact Factor and OCEBM quality of evidence descriptors.

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