Medicine has a high affinity towards quantitative methods of performance evaluation and the use of metrics for decision making, steering and assessments. This is apparent in many situations (performance-guided allocation of funds, diagnosis related groups, journal impact factors in appointment procedures etc.). Within the context of this project, procedures for measuring research output were of primary interest.

QuaMedFo-ZBW systematically analysed a comprehensive sample of medical literature and topics with regard to both quantity and content. It analysed, by means of biblio- and altmetric studies, sentiment analysis, content analysis, and longitudinal comparisons the following:

  • coverage of medical literature on various publishing platforms,
  • the intensity and emotionality of interaction with it, and
  • the interaction between citations and altmetrics, resp. mentions on other platforms.

Four groups of addressees were taken into consideration to reflect the ‘societal impact’ in a nuanced way:

  1. audiences close to medicine, through publishing and debating platforms such as PubPeer,
  2. academic audiences through Mendeley,
  3. interested professional audiences through the national press and other professional journals,
  4. a general audience through Twitter and others.

The module aimed to verify the potential and robustness of altmetrics for measuring relevance and output, as well as additional quality evaluations of medical research, and to contextualise them in a holistic framework next to other forms of evaluation.

Project partners

  • Professor Christoph Herrmann-Lingen, MD; Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Göttingen Medical School
  • Professor Stefan Hornbostel: German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), Berlin branch, Department 2, Research System and Science Dynamics
  • Dr Dietrich Nelle, ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences

Project duration

01.01.2019 - 30.06.2022

Funded by

Federal Ministry for Education and Research