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Sept/Oct 2015

High-Impact Articles—Citations, Downloads, and Altmetric Score

Author Affiliations
  • 1Medical College of Wisconsin Clinic at Froedtert West, Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, Milwaukee
  • 2Editor, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2015;17(5):323-324. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2015.0869

As the editor, I have the honor and pleasure of reading and reviewing the best manuscripts in the discipline of facial plastic surgery. I am often asked the questions by potential authors: “What is JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery looking for in an article? What are the factors in deciding which articles are accepted for publication?” I have pointed to my inaugural editorial1 that describes our mission and vision statement that articulates 3 key themes—showcasing the best science, educating our targeted readership, and framing the contemporary and key issues of our time. However, I’ve often wondered if there was a more concise or visually crisp way to articulate my message.

Now, fortunately, through the creativity of our web and media team, the new JAMA Network article dashboard captures the essence of what our journal desires—that is, “the high-impact article”—the number of citations, number of downloads, and altmetric score (Figure). These 3 metrics are not all-inclusive or all that matters, but they do represent the 3 distinct themes I’ve mentioned: metrics that make an article desirable from a journal perspective.

Screenshot of Article Webpage
Screenshot of Article Webpage

Dashboard is outlined by red box.

The citation metric is one that is likely most familiar and recognized by the scientific community. There are metrics such as H-index for authors (based on number of citations and publications) that are used by academic institutions as one consideration in faculty promotion decisions. Impact factors for journals are calculated by counting all of the citations to every article published in a journal divided by the number of “substantial” articles (original research, long reviews, special communications) published in that specific journal during the 2 preceding years. This 2-year window is a difficult one for more clinically based journals like JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery because even landmark clinical studies or reviews often experience a lag in terms of its citation frequency as opposed to basic science articles that tend to be cited more frequently since the knowledge and reporting cycle runs on a faster pace. On our website, “the most cited” recently published article is a review on complications related to injectable soft-tissue filler (>3400 views, 16 citations, altmetric score of 3).2

What else is important for article selections beyond the possibility of an article being cited? Readership interest is another key component, with number of recent article downloads being a metric that describes this factor. This may be a scientific article (often clinical science) or an educationally focused article—for example, an in-depth topic review, surgical vignette, or an opinion piece. On our website the “most read” (ie, downloaded) article in the past 31 days is a full-length clinical article on the topic of thread-lift complications (>23 000 views, 2 citations, altmetric score of 9).3 However, even the short educational piece (a Surgical Pearl) by Chu and Davis4 that was published online as recently as May 15, 2015,4 has close to 1100 views. In essence, this metric is describing what makes this journal a valuable resource.

Finally, in the age of social media, public interest and readership excitement is captured by an altmetric score—essentially an assessment of the article’s online attention (news coverage, blogs, Twitter, Facebook). Usually a clinical study on a topic that may have some public interest or a Viewpoint that is edgy or frames a controversial topic will have high altmetric scores. The recent article Reilly et al5 on the topic of the effect of facial rejuvenation surgery on perceived attractiveness, femininity, and personality is an example of an article that resonated with online and public interest (686 views, 1 citations, altmetric score of 95). In essence, this metric is describing what makes this journal relevant, interesting, and entertaining.

I encourage you to spend some time reviewing and surfing through our webpages. The JAMA Network web team has made this experience enjoyable and enriching—truly an enhanced experience that goes beyond traditional print pages. Remember that our journal publishes new content weekly, not merely bimonthly via the print journal—new content is posted online first every week. With our email alerts, you will be notified when new content is available that you can access via your computer, tablet, and phone. If you have not already signed up for the JAMA Network Reader (http://www.jnreader.com), please do so; it’s the best way to have immediate, free access to the contents of not only JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery but to all of the JAMA Network journals.

As always, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery is committed to publishing articles with the most impact (citations, downloads, altmetric score), and I look forward to improving and advancing in all of the metrics that support the growing story of success for our journal.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: John S. Rhee, MD, MPH, Medical College of Wisconsin Clinic at Froedtert West, Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, 9200 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53226 (jrhee@mcw.edu).

Published Online: July 30, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2015.0869.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Rhee  JS.  Faces of change: passing of the torch in JAMA Facial Plastic SurgeryJAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2015;17(1):7.Article
Daines  SM, Williams  EF  III.  Complications associated with injectable soft-tissue fillers: a 5-year retrospective review. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2013;15(3):226-231.PubMedArticle
Abraham  RF, DeFatta  RJ, Williams  EF  III.  Thread-lift for facial rejuvenation: assessment of long-term results. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2009;11(3):178-183.PubMedArticle
Chu  E, David  RE.  SMAS debulking for management of the thick-skinned nose. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2015;17(4):305-306. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2015.0361.Article
Reilly  MJ, Tomsic  JA, Fernandez  SJ, Davison  SP.  Effect of facial rejuvenation surgery on perceived attractiveness, femininity, and personality. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2015;17(3):202-207.PubMedArticle