May 21, 2022

New Research Article: “Do Altmetrics Correlate with the Quality Of Papers? A Large-Scale Empirical Study Based on F1000Prime Data”

The following article was recently published by PLOS ONE.


Do Altmetrics Correlate with the Quality Of Papers? A Large-Scale Empirical Study Based on F1000Prime Data


Lutz Bornmann
Max Planck Society

Robin Haunschild
Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research


PLoS ONE 13(5): e0197133
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197133


In this study, we address the question whether (and to what extent, respectively) altmetrics are related to the scientific quality of papers (as measured by peer assessments). Only a few studies have previously investigated the relationship between altmetrics and assessments by peers. In the first step, we analyse the underlying dimensions of measurement for traditional metrics (citation counts) and altmetrics–by using principal component analysis (PCA) and factor analysis (FA). In the second step, we test the relationship between the dimensions and quality of papers (as measured by the post-publication peer-review system of F1000Prime assessments)–using regression analysis. The results of the PCA and FA show that altmetrics operate along different dimensions, whereas Mendeley counts are related to citation counts, and tweets form a separate dimension. The results of the regression analysis indicate that citation-based metrics and readership counts are significantly more related to quality, than tweets. This result on the one hand questions the use of Twitter counts for research evaluation purposes and on the other hand indicates potential use of Mendeley reader counts.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.