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Research on the relationships between discourse leading indicators and citations: perspectives from altmetrics indicators of international multidisciplinary academic journals

Xu Wang (ISTIC, Haidian-qu, China) (School of Economics and Management, Yanshan University, Qinhuangdao, China)
Xin Feng (School of Management, Shijiazhuang Tiedao University, Shijiazhuang, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 29 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the relationships between discourse leading indicators and citations from perspectives of integrating altmetrics indicators and tries to provide references for comprehending the quantitative indicators of scientific communication in the era of open science, constructing the evaluation indicator system of the discourse leading for academic journals and then improving the discourse leading of academic journals.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the theory of communication and the new pattern of scientific communication, this paper explores the formation process of academic journals' discourse leading. This paper obtains 874,119 citations and 6,378,843 altmetrics indicators data from 65 international multidisciplinary academic journals. The relationships between indicators of discourse leading (altmetrics) and citations are studied by using descriptive statistical analysis, correlation analysis, principal component analysis, negative binomial regression analysis and marginal effects analysis. Meanwhile, the connotation and essential characteristics of the indicators, the strength and influence of the relationships are further analyzed and explored. It is proposed that academic journals' discourse leading is composed of news discourse leading, social media discourse leading, peer review discourse leading, encyclopedic discourse leading, video discourse leading and policy discourse leading.

Findings

It is discovered that the 15 altmetrics indicators data have a low degree of centralization to the center and a high degree of polarization dispersion overall; their distribution patterns do not follow the normal distributions, and their distributions have the characteristics of long-tailed right-peaked curves. Overall, 15 indicators show positive correlations and wide gaps exist in the number of mentions and coverage. The academic journals' discourse leading significantly affects total cites. When altmetrics indicators of international mainstream academic and social media platforms are used to explore the connotation and characteristics of academic journals' discourse leading, the influence or contribution of social media discourse, news discourse, video discourse, policy discourse, peer review discourse and encyclopedia discourse on the citations decreases in turn.

Originality/value

This study is innovative from the academic journal level to analyze the deep relationships between altmetrics indicators and citations from the perspective of correlation. First, this paper explores the formation process of academic journals' discourse leading. Second, this paper integrates altmetrics indicators to study the correlation between discourse leading indicators and citations. This study will help to enrich and improve basic theoretical issues and indicators’ composition, provide theoretical support for the construction of the discourse leading evaluation system for academic journals and provide ideas for the evaluation practice activities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments to improve the quality of this paper and thanks Altmetric.com for providing the datasets.

Citation

Wang, X. and Feng, X. (2022), "Research on the relationships between discourse leading indicators and citations: perspectives from altmetrics indicators of international multidisciplinary academic journals", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-09-2021-0296

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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