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Measuring the Impact of Research Using Conventional and Alternative Metrics

Knowlton, Sasha E., MD; Paganoni, Sabrina, MD; Niehaus, William, MD; Verduzco-Gutierrez, Monica, MD; Sharma, Raman, MD; Iaccarino, Mary A., MD; Hayano, Todd, DO; Schneider, Jeffrey C., MD; Silver, Julie K., MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: April 2019 - Volume 98 - Issue 4 - p 331–338
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000001066
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Bibliometrics use statistical methods to measure the scholarly impact of publications. Bibliometrics are categorized as conventional metrics or alternative metrics. Conventional metrics have often been considered the standard to measure the impact of publication-related scholarship. With the growing popularity of social media and ease of instantaneous distribution of information globally, alternative metrics have become an important complementary measure of scholarly activity. Bibliometrics may provide a standard performance measurement that may be used for tenure and/or promotion among academic institutions. The alternative metric industry has shown considerable growth with increasingly improved algorithms working towards standardization. Together, conventional metrics and alternative metrics may synergistically complement each other to provide an accelerated translation from research to clinical care that may lead to tremendous benefits in patients. All physicians and other healthcare professionals should receive training in bibliometrics and understand the potential impact of professional social media use.

From the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts (SEK, SP, MAI, TH, JCS, JKS); Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (SEK, SP, MAI, TH, JCS, JKS); University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado (WN); McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, Houston, Texas (MV-G); and Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, White Plains, New York (RS).

All correspondence should be addressed to: Sasha E. Knowlton, MD, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 300 First Ave, Charlestown, MA 02129.

Raman Sharma is in training.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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