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Does a research group increase impact on the scientific community or general public discussion? Alternative metric-based evaluation

Authors De Gregori M, Scotti V, De Silvestri A, Curti M, Fanelli G, Allegri M, Schatman M

Received 20 January 2016

Accepted for publication 27 April 2016

Published 11 June 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 391—395


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Robinson

Manuela De Gregori,1-3,* Valeria Scotti,4,* Annalisa De Silvestri,4 Moreno Curti,4 Guido Fanelli,2,5,6 Massimo Allegri,2,5,6 Michael E Schatman,2,7

1Pain Therapy Service, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy; 2Study In Multidisciplinary PAin Research Group, Parma, Italy; 3Young Against Pain Group, Parma, Italy; 4Center for Scientific Documentation and Biometry Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy; 5Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Parma, Italy; 6Anesthesia, Intensive Care and Pain Therapy Service, Azienda Ospedaliero, Universitaria di Parma, Parma, Italy; 7US Pain Foundation, Bellevue, WA, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract: In this study, we investigated the impact of scientific publications of the Italian SIMPAR (Study In Multidisciplinary PAin Research) group by using altmetrics, defined as nontraditional metrics constituting an alternative to more traditional citation-impact metrics, such as impact factor and H-index. By correlating traditional and alternative metrics, we attempted to verify whether publications by the SIMPAR group collectively had more impact than those performed by its individual members, either in solo publications or in publications coauthored by non-SIMPAR group investigators (which for the purpose of this study we will refer to as “individual publications”). For all the 12 members of the group analyzed (pain therapists, biologists, and pharmacologists), we created Open Researcher and Contributor ID and Impact Story accounts, and synchronized these data. Manually, we calculated the level metrics for each article by dividing the data obtained from the research community by those obtained from the public community. We analyzed 759 articles, 18 of which were published by the SIMPAR group. Altmetrics demonstrated that SIMPAR group publications were more likely to be saved (77.8% vs 45.9%), discussed (61.1% vs 1.1%, P<0.0001), and publicly viewed (11.1% vs 1.3%, P=0.05) than individual publications. These results support the importance of multidisciplinary research groups in the impact of scientific literature; the interaction and synergy among the research participants allowed the obtainment of high impact-literature in the field of personalized pain medicine. Finally, our findings demonstrate the potential of altmetrics in estimating the value of the research products of a group.

Keywords: altmetrics, SIMPAR group, pain-research impact

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