Measuring the Value of Medical Affairs with Altmetrics

Medical Affairs professionals and publications planners in the pharmaceutical industry have a nagging worry: that the impact of the work they do—publishing high-quality research in order to accurately disseminate their companies’ research findings—is too difficult to quantify.

“How can I explain to my managers and CMO the full reach of the articles I write, beyond counting citations?” they ask. “Is it possible to know what patients and doctors are saying about the research I publish for my company?”

Until very recently, these questions were nearly impossible to answer. But with the rise of altmetrics (“alternative metrics” from the social web that help authors understand who is talking about their research and what they are saying), it is now easier than ever to identify key opinion leaders (KOLs) and their online equivalents, Digital Online Influencers (DOIs). These experts are talking about industry-authored research online and using their expertise to influence others.

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