E. S. Fox, J. M. McDonnell, A. Kelly, G. M. Cunniffe, S. Darwish, R. Bransford, J. S. Butler

October 2023, pp 1 - 7 Review Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-023-07962-4

First Online: 02 October 2023


It is becoming increasingly common for researchers to share scientific literature via social media. Traditional bibliometrics have long been utilized to measure a study’s academic impact, but they fail to capture the impact generated through social media sharing. Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) is a weighted count of all the online attention garnered by a study, and it is currently unclear whether a relationship with traditional bibliometrics exists.


We identified the five highest-rated spine-specific and five highest-rated general orthopedic journals by Scopus CiteScore 2020. We then identified all the spine trauma studies across a 5-year span (2016–2020) within these journals and compared AAS with traditional bibliometrics using Independent t-tests and Pearson’s correlational analyses.


No statistically significant relationships were identified between AAS and traditional bibliometrics for articles pertaining to spine trauma: Level of Evidence (R = − 0.02, p = 0.34), H-Index Primary Author (R =  


The lack of overlap between these types of metrics suggests that AAS or similar alternative metrics should be used to measure an article’s social impact. The social impact of an article should likewise be a factor in determining an article’s overall impact along with its academic impact as measured by bibliometrics.

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