Alternative metrics - revisiting the digital impact of scientific research.
Objectives: Altmetrics is an interesting tool that illustrates the global online attention received by a publication, thus redefining the way we analyze the impact of research. However, no study to date has been done in our part of the world to assess the impact of a publication beyond the limits of an academic environment. Considering the importance of these alternative measures of impact, we intended to perform an institutional-based pilot study to get an insight into the outreach of our publications.
Methods: The publication record of the Operative Dentistry faculty at the Aga Khan University Hospital between the years 2010 to 2021 was searched using three electronic databases (Google Scholar, Altmetric Explorer, and PubMed). After the final screening, all the publications in PubMed indexed journals including in vitro studies, randomized controlled trials, original research articles, case reports, and letters to the editor, for which the Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) was available on the Altmetric Explorer were included in the study.
Results: Out of a total of 225 publications, only 34 studies were eligible to be included in our analysis. The cumulative citation count for the publications in the past decade was 617 whereas the AAS was reported to be just 158. Furthermore, there were 16 Facebook mentions and 163 Tweets all together. Nevertheless, the Tweets had a wider geographic distribution and were found to be more trending among the members of the general public.
Conclusions: The publications by the Operative Dentistry faculty during the past decade had a modest social impact in the community in terms of Attention Score. Nevertheless, the publications had a diverse geographic as well as demographic spread, demonstrating wider outreach to the non-scientific community.