Abstract by Aubrey Odom
Structural Equation Modeling to Assess Relationships Between the Media Impact and Scientific Merit of Academic Articles
Scientific merit, as defined by scientists, encompasses the amount of academic attention received on a journal article via quantifiable metrics such as citation reports, Mendeley readership counts, and abstract views. Furthermore, the media impact of a paper is the amount of attention received by a specific article in media as demonstrated by Altmetric Attention Scores and social media mentions. Within the field of exercise science, there have arisen recent articles for which the media attention associated with an article was not proportional to its perceived scientific merit, particularly when the research possessed limited inferential capability but elicited substantial public interest. These motivating examples gave rise to exploratory research seeking to establish or uncover a relationship between immediate media coverage and long-run scientific impact. Using a multivariate statistical method known as structural equation modeling, we analyze the relationship between these factors and discuss the implications for exercise science research and more broadly for scholarly publishing.