Examining the Correlation Between Altmetric Score and Citations in the Urology Literature

Academic Article


  • Objective: To determine if article Altmetric scores correlate with journal impact factor and citation count in the urologic literature. Methods: We identified the top 10 most-cited articles for the 15 urology journals with the highest impact factor in 2013 and 2016. Citation count and Altmetric scores were recorded for each of the articles. The journal impact factor and date of Twitter account development were recorded for each of the journals. The variables were analyzed in Microsoft excel using Pearson's correlation testing. Results: A total of 300 articles were analyzed. In 2013, Altmetric scores and citation number showed a significant positive correlation (r = 0.164, P =.045), although Altmetric scores did not correlate with journal impact factor (r = 0.005, P =.957). In 2016, there was significant positive correlation between Altmetric scores and citation number (r = 0.268, P =.0009), as well as between Altmetric scores and journal impact factor (r = 0.201, P =.014). The total citation count decreased from 15,235 in 2013 to 8622 in 2016 while the total Altmetric score increased from 1135 in 2013 to 2563 in 2016. Older Twitter accounts were not associated with increasing correlations between Altmetric score and bibliometrics in either 2013 (r = 0.221, P =.54) or 2016 (r = 0.083, P =.819). Conclusion: At this point in time, Altmetric score is only weakly correlated with citation counts in the urology literature. Altmetrics and traditional bibliometrics should be viewed as complements to one another rather than surrogates when determining research dissemination and impact.
  • Published In

  • Urology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Nocera AP; Boyd CJ; Boudreau H; Hakim O; Rais-Bahrami S
  • Start Page

  • 45
  • End Page

  • 50
  • Volume

  • 134