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Can alternative indicators overcome language biases in citation counts? A comparison of Spanish and UK researchThis study compares Spanish and UK research in eight subject fields using a range of bibliometric and social media indicators. For each field, lists of Spanish and UK journal articles published in the year 2012 and their citation counts were extracted from Scopus. The software Webometric Analyst was then used to extract a range of altmetrics for these articles, including patent citations, online presentation mentions, online course syllabus mentions, Wikipedia mentions and Mendeley reader counts and Altmetric.com was used to extract Twitter mentions. Results show that Mendeley is the altmetric source with the highest coverage, with 80% of sampled articles having one or more Mendeley readers, followed by Twitter (34%). The coverage of the remaining sources was lower than 3%. All of the indicators checked either have too little data or increase the overall difference between Spain and the UK and so none can be suggested as alternatives to reduce the bias against Spain in traditional citation indexes.
Early Mendeley readers correlate with later citation countsCounts of the number of readers registered in the social reference manager Mendeley have been proposed as an early impact indicator for journal articles. Although previous research has shown that Mendeley reader counts for articles tend to have a strong positive correlation with synchronous citation counts after a few years, no previous studies have compared early Mendeley reader counts with later citation counts. In response, this first diachronic analysis compares reader counts within a month of publication with citation counts after 20 months for ten fields. There were moderate or strong correlations in eight out of ten fields, with the two exceptions being the smallest categories (n=18, 36) with wide confidence intervals. The correlations are higher than the correlations between later citations and early citations, showing that Mendeley reader counts are more useful early impact indicators than citation counts.
When are readership counts as useful as citation counts? Scopus versus Mendeley for LIS journalsIn theory, articles can attract readers on the social reference sharing site Mendeley before they can attract citations, so Mendeley altmetrics could provide early indications of article impact. This article investigates the influence of time on the number of Mendeley readers of an article through a theoretical discussion and an investigation into the relationship between counts of readers of, and citations to, 4 general library and information science (LIS) journals. For this discipline, it takes about 7 years for articles to attract as many Scopus citations as Mendeley readers, and after this the Spearman correlation between readers and citers is stable at about 0.6 for all years. This suggests that Mendeley readership counts may be useful impact indicators for both newer and older articles. The lack of dates for individual Mendeley article readers and an unknown bias toward more recent articles mean that readership data should be normalized individually by year, however, before making any comparisons between articles published in different years.