January 28, 2022

New Working Paper: A Meta-Analysis of Research Into Three Altmetrics (Twitter, Reference Managers, and Blogs)

Here’s a new working paper that will likely be of interest to many of you. It was posted to arXiv yesterday.


Alternative metrics in scientometrics: A meta-analysis of research into three altmetrics


Dr. Lutz Bornmann
Division for Science and Innovation Studies, Max Planck Society


via arXiv
Posted July 30, 2014


Alternative metrics are currently one of the most popular research topics in scientometric research.

This paper provides an overview of research into three of the most important altmetrics: microblogging (Twitter), online reference managers (Mendeley and CiteULike) and blogging.

The literature is discussed in relation to the possible use of altmetrics in research evaluation.

Since the research was particularly interested in the correlation between altmetrics counts and citation counts, this overview focuses particularly on this correlation.

For each altmetric, a meta-analysis is calculated for its correlation with traditional citation counts. As the results of the meta-analyses show, the correlation with traditional citations for micro-blogging counts is negligible (pooled r=0.003), for blog counts it is small (pooled r=0.12) and for bookmark counts from online reference managers, medium to large (CiteULike pooled r=0.23; Mendeley pooled r=0.51). Since the added value of an alternative metric, as an additional metric compared with traditional citation counts, is greater the less it correlates with traditional citation counts, the greatest added value – according to the meta-analysis – is associated with Twitter citations.

Direct to Full Text Paper (36 pages; PDF)

See Also: Dr. Bornmann’s Homepage (Includes Links to Additional Publications)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.