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January 10, 2017

The Rise of Altmetrics

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Urology Centre, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, England
  • 2MRC Centre for Transplantation, King’s College London, Guy’s Hospital, London, England
JAMA. 2017;317(2):131-132. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18346

With the world’s academic output currently standing at 2.5 million articles per year and doubling every 9 years, sifting the relevant from the irrelevant is vital for researchers, publishers, and funding bodies.

Until recently, the influence of a published article would primarily be measured by its citations, a slow process resulting in a long wait before the importance of an article is truly recognized. Views of the article (including PDF and HTML) are another measure of importance, but views can also accumulate slowly. Altmetrics are increasingly recognized tools that aim to measure the real-time reach and influence of an academic article.