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Heartbeat: Altmetrics and Cardiovascular Risk Factor Studies
  1. Catherine M Otto
  1. Correspondence to Professor Catherine M Otto, Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; cmotto{at}

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The main guiding editorial principle of Heart is to improve the care of patients with cardiovascular disease by publishing high-impact innovative clinically relevant original cardiovascular research. However, it can be difficult to specify exactly what defines “high-impact”. In addition to the traditional Impact Factor (Journal Citation Reports®, Thomson Reuters, 2015) used for medical journals, there are many other proposed measures of influence, including the Almetric ( score. The Altmetric score, shown as a number within a colored wreath at the end of each full text article online, reflects the immediate attention received by a research paper as evidenced by articles in news outlets and commentary on blogs, as well as the number of tweets and other digital communications (figure 1).

Figure 1

Example of an Altmetric score. The colors in the wreath represent the relative contributions of different types of interest (news outlets, twitter, blogs, etc) with the number in the middle indicating the interest in this article, relative to other articles. (from Heart webpage for this article)

As you know, the traditional Impact Factor (Thompson-Reuters) averages the annual number of citations of papers published in a journal over the previous 2 years, normalized to the total number of publications. Thus, the Impact Factor reflects past publications, groups all the papers in a journal together and only considers citations by other scientific journals. In contrast, the Almetrics score provides immediate feedback about an individual …

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