INTRODUCTION: Novel bibliometric indexes (commonly known as altmetrics) are gaining interest within the scientific community and might represent an important alternative measure of research quality and output.
AIMS: We evaluate how these new metrics correlate with established bibliometric indexes such as the impact factor (IF), currently used as a measure of scientific production as well as a criterion for scientific research funding, and how they might be helpful in assessing the impact of research.
METHODS: We calculated altmetrics scores for all the articles published at our institution during a single year and examined the correlation between altmetrics scores and IFs as a measure of research quality and impact in all departments.
RESULTS: For all articles from the various departments published in a single year, the altmetrics score and the sum of all IFs showed a strong and significant correlation (Spearman's rho 0.88). The correlation was significant also when the major components of altmetrics, including Facebook, Twitter and Mendeley, were analyzed. The implementation of altmetrics has been found to be easy and effective at both the researcher and librarian levels.
CONCLUSIONS: The novel bibliographic index altmetrics is consistent and reliable and can complement or be considered a valid alternative to standard bibliometric indexes to benchmark output and quality of research for academic and funding purposes.
- Journal Article