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A comparison of the top 500 papers in Clinical Nutrition ranked by citation and Altmetric Attention Scores

Lewis-Lloyd, Christopher A; Lobo, Dileep N


Christopher A Lewis-Lloyd

Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery


Background and aims
Citation scores (CS) have been traditionally used to measure the impact of scientific publications. Sourced from the Internet, Altmetric Attention Scores (AAS) are complementary metrics that assess how often publications are discussed and used globally. We compared by rank the top 500 papers by CS and AAS published in Clinical Nutrition with corresponding AAS and CS.

A search for all publications in Clinical Nutrition was performed on Dimensions ( on 3rd April 2024. Outputs were ranked according to CS and then by AAS with the top 500 in each category selected. Scores, year and type of publication were recorded. Correlation was expressed as the Spearman's rank coefficient (ϱ).

We identified 18,790 outputs. Within the top 500 publications ranked by CS, there was a significant weak positive correlation (ϱ = 0.235, P < 0.0001) between CS [median (IQR) 149 (116–223)] and AAS [7 (3–22)]. Ranked by AAS, there was a non-significant very weak positive correlation (ϱ = 0.072, P = 0.106) between AAS [55.5 (36–115)] and CS [42 (16.5–94.5)]. Trends remained similar when grouped by publication type. Guidelines, ranked by CS, had the highest CS and ranked by AAS, the highest CS and AAS. Publications per year, by year, ranked by CS, had a negatively skewed distribution peaking in 2012 and declined thereafter, but when ranked by AAS, had a moderately positive linear trend from 2001 to 2024 (ϱ = 0.513, P < 0.0001).

Correlation between CS and AAS was weak. Guidelines had the highest CS and AAS. CS are iterative taking years to mature while AAS are immediate.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 24, 2024
Publication Date 2024-08
Deposit Date Jun 20, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 25, 2025
Journal Clinical Nutrition
Print ISSN 0261-5614
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 8
Pages 1790-1797
Keywords Altmetrics, Altmetric attention scores, Citation scores, Clinical nutrition, Scientific publications
Public URL
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