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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-99

Indicators of scientific impact: The need for a tectonic shift

1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Pradeep Deshmukh
Department of Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Plot No.2, Sector-20, MIHAN, Nagpur - 441 108, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCFM.IJCFM_12_19

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The proliferation of research witnessed in the past couple of decades has increased the need for distinguishing the impact of publications. As it could take a long time for a scientific finding to be translated into action, surrogate measures are sought after. Citation of a published work is often considered the ideal surrogate measure. The growth of social media and the use of published work in policy documents and news media have called for other alternate measures. The measures of scientific impact are formulated into impact indicators. Journal impact factor is a widely known indicator of scientific impact. Initially intended for the purpose of rating journals, it is often used for rating the article and the author. Impact factor is an average and is influenced by the outliers. The field of research, citation index, and the problem of deliberate self-citation influence it. The h-index, an author-level metric, should be interpreted with other complementary indices such as the e-index and q-index. Altmetric Attention Score, a novel indicator which uses alternative measures of impact such as used in social media, discussions, and policy documents, is a promising indicator.

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