Document Type : Articles


Department of Medical Library and Information Science, School of Paramedicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran


Traditional citation analysis has been greatly criticized because the process of citation accumulation requires considerable time after publication. So, the term “altmetrics” was proposed in 2010 to measure the scientific and social impact of a paper. According to the deficiencies of traditional citation analysis, we performed a comprehensive search for medical ethics publications using the altmetrics approach from the beginning until 2019. In this descriptive-analytical study, we retrieved the articles discussing any topics relating to medical ethics that published in the Scopus database from the beginning till 2019 using related medical ethics keywords. A total number of 455 articles with altmetrics scores and citations, included in this study. Altmetrics data were extracted via an altmetrics bookmarklet. Dimensions, Mendeley, and Twitter, had prominent sources of attention on social media platforms. The most number of tweets, and Mendeley's attentions, in the medical ethics fields, originated from the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK). Moreover, master students have the largest share in the citation of articles in Mendeley. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine has the most proportion of altmetrics score among Iranian papers in medical ethics. The correlation between the altmetrics score and citation index was significant (p <0.05). The medical ethics researchers have to pay more attention to social activities (such as creating and updating their profiles on social media) on the web for wide dissemination and proper evaluation of their scientific publications.