Rockville MD -- While the number of times a scientific article is cited by other articles is currently the gold standard for ranking its impact, online publishing offers another measure: the number of unique downloads.
A recent analysis in the online Journal of Vision finds that downloads are a good predictor of citations -- and they are available significantly faster.
The analysis was published in an editorial by Journal of Vision (JOV) Editor-in-Chief Andrew Watson. (http://journalofvision.org/9/4/i/) JOV recently began publishing download counts for every published article. The journal also ranks the top 20 articles by download.
How do unique downloads compare with the more traditional citations counts? Very well, it turns out. Watson reports an overall correlation of 0.74 between downloads and citations for individual articles in JOV.
But who needs this new metric, if the old one worked well? Anyone in a hurry. Download counts mirror citations, but are available about two years earlier.
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include some 12,500 eye and vision researchers from over 73 countries. The Association encourages and assists research, training, publication and dissemination of knowledge in vision and ophthalmology. For more information, visit www.arvo.org.
The Journal of Vision is ARVO's on-line, open-access, peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to all aspects of visual function in humans and other organisms. The journal is published exclusively in digital form: full-text articles may be accessed for free via the internet. www.journalofvision.org