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Research impact: a narrative review

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Medicine, May 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 blogs
2 policy sources
349 tweeters
4 Facebook pages
1 Google+ user


89 Dimensions

Readers on

335 Mendeley
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Research impact: a narrative review
Published in
BMC Medicine, May 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12916-016-0620-8
Pubmed ID

Trisha Greenhalgh, James Raftery, Steve Hanney, Matthew Glover


Impact occurs when research generates benefits (health, economic, cultural) in addition to building the academic knowledge base. Its mechanisms are complex and reflect the multiple ways in which knowledge is generated and utilised. Much progress has been made in measuring both the outcomes of research and the processes and activities through which these are achieved, though the measurement of impact is not without its critics. We review the strengths and limitations of six established approaches (Payback, Research Impact Framework, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, monetisation, societal impact assessment, UK Research Excellence Framework) plus recently developed and largely untested ones (including metrics and electronic databases). We conclude that (1) different approaches to impact assessment are appropriate in different circumstances; (2) the most robust and sophisticated approaches are labour-intensive and not always feasible or affordable; (3) whilst most metrics tend to capture direct and proximate impacts, more indirect and diffuse elements of the research-impact link can and should be measured; and (4) research on research impact is a rapidly developing field with new methodologies on the horizon.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 349 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 335 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 7 2%
Portugal 1 <1%
Norway 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
Turkey 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
New Zealand 1 <1%
Argentina 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 320 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 66 20%
Researcher 59 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 47 14%
Other 25 7%
Student > Doctoral Student 16 5%
Other 76 23%
Unknown 46 14%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Social Sciences 90 27%
Medicine and Dentistry 51 15%
Nursing and Health Professions 29 9%
Business, Management and Accounting 17 5%
Environmental Science 13 4%
Other 73 22%
Unknown 62 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 236. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 December 2019.
All research outputs
of 16,311,404 outputs
Outputs from BMC Medicine
of 2,578 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 269,055 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Medicine
of 2 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 16,311,404 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,578 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 37.3. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 269,055 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them