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Ch-ch-ch Changes … In Measurement of Nursing Research, Usage and Impact

Posted December 10, 2015 in Insights & Research

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Citation counts have long been the standard measure of academic research, usage and impact. Published articles in prominent journals citing other published articles in other prominent journals generally equates to prestige. There are however, some obstacles with this method of determining worth and impact for nursing research. First, citations favor older research so you may miss new advancements. Second, translational research is a category that often does not get cited. According to Grady (2010), “Translational research transforms scientific findings or discoveries from basic laboratory, clinical or population studies into new clinical tools, processes or applications. Thus, improving patient care and promot[ing] public health.”

Now, advancements in technology give us new ways to unearth and tell the narrative of research. These technologies encourage communication, sharing and other interaction with research output. We now have technology that processes big data and makes it possible to categorize and analyze all of these interactions into metrics and categories. This new way of looking at the impact and reach of research is sometimes called alternative metrics or altmetrics, as a way to describe an alternative to traditional citation counts.

One of these new technologies is the Plum Print, a pilot feature available in CINAHL® Complete. The Plum Print allows users to track comprehensive metrics, helping them discover the hidden stories of research. The Plum Print can be found on CINAHL Complete content with available metrics, and will visually change depending on the metrics found in each of the five categories—helping users to make sense of the data.


Five Benefits of the Metrics Found in the Plum Print for a CINAHL Complete User:

  1. Allows users to find out how many other people are reading or viewing a particular piece of content through the “Usage” metric.
  2. Indicates to a user if others who have come across this content have found it useful and tagged it as something they want to come back to through the “Capture” metric.
  3. Shows users how others are truly engaging with a piece of content with feedback and opinions of that content through the “Mentions” metric.
  4. Makes the user aware of how well the content’s creator is promoting his/her work indicated by the number of likes, shares and tweets found in the “Social Media” metric.
  5. Paints a picture for the user of the long-term impact of a piece of content through the “Citations” metric.


Learn more about CINAHL Complete and the Plum Print below.

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