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Research Letter
July 1, 2019

Comparison of Attention for Neurological Research on Social Media vs Academia: An Altmetric Score Analysis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Neurological Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2Department of Public Health, Surendra Dental College and Research Institute, Rajasthan, India
  • 3Quantitative Health Sciences, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 4Department of Neurology, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus
JAMA Neurol. 2019;76(9):1122-1124. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1791

The omnipresence of social media in modern life is undeniable but its value to society remains to be determined; thus, we aimed to investigate the recognition received by neurological research on social media. We used the Altmetric attention score (AAS), a weighted count of online attention received by an article, as a marker of the popularity (“buzz”) of neurological research in the public and compared it with the academic attention marker (citations).

The impact factor–based top 5 journals that publish research on all neurological subspecialties were identified using the Journal Citations Reports for 2016 (Table). All original research articles (no opinion/editorial and single-case reports/neuroimages) published in 2016 in these journals were extracted and tabulated. Dimensions (Digital Science & Research Solutions Inc), an online searchable platform that aggregates data on more than 99 million publications,1 was used to identify the AAS of the included publications (accessed from April 1, 2019 to April 7, 2019), their individual engagement on various social media platforms, and their open access status. The total citations accrued over the 3-year period was obtained through Web of Science2 (accessed from April 1, 2019 to April 7, 2019). Abstracts and full-text articles were reviewed to categorize the neurological subspecialty, article topic, and study design. The top 100 publications with the highest AAS were considered as receiving the highest recognition on social media (“buzz”) and analyzed separately. Institutional review board approval was waived because institutional policies did not consider this work as human research.