Do opinion articles attract more social attention than original research, relative to their citation counts?

Published:March 25, 2017DOI:
      Scientific findings are disseminated as original investigation articles but influential medical journals also publish opinion articles. Although opinion articles provide less citable information than original investigations, it is not known whether they generate other types of interest and social web mentions may serve as a proxy indicator of wider interest. Altmetrics (such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and newspapers) may provide evidence of informal academic interest as well as the spreading of research beyond its classical boundaries [
      • Dinsmore A.
      • Allen L.
      • Dolby K.
      Alternative perspectives on impact: the potential of ALMs and altmetrics to inform funders about research impact.
      ]. The objectives of this study were to use social web data to compare the attention received by opinion articles with that received by original investigations in leading medical journals, using citation counts for both as a baseline.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to European Journal of Internal Medicine
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Dinsmore A.
        • Allen L.
        • Dolby K.
        Alternative perspectives on impact: the potential of ALMs and altmetrics to inform funders about research impact.
        PLoS Biol. 2014; 12e1002003
        • Haustein S.
        • Costas R.
        • Larivière V.
        Characterizing social media metrics of scholarly papers: the effect of document properties and collaboration patterns.
        PLoS One. 2015; 10e0120495
        • Costas R.
        • Zahedi Z.
        • Wouters P.
        Do “altmetrics” correlate with citations? Extensive comparison of altmetric indicators with citations from a multidisciplinary perspective.
        J Assoc Inf Sci Technol. 2015; 66: 2003-2019
        • Thelwall M.
        The discretised lognormal and hooked power law distributions for complete citation data: best options for modelling and regression.
        J Informet. 2016; 10: 336-346
        • Fieller E.C.
        Some problems in interval estimation.
        J R Stat Soc Ser B. 1954; 16: 175-185
        • de Solla Price D.J.
        A general theory of bibliometric and other cumulative advantage processes.
        J Am Soc Inf Sci. 1976; 27: 292-306
        • Altmetric Support
        What outputs and sources does altmetric track?.
        • Wilsdon J.
        The metric tide: independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management.
        SAGE, Oxford, UK2016
        • Selvaraj S.
        • Borkar D.S.
        • Prasad V.
        Media coverage of medical journals: do the best articles make the news?.
        PLoS One. 2014; 9e85355