Article Spotlight: Getting to Know Altmetrics

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

Altmetrics is a term you’ve probably heard of, but what does it really mean?  Altmetrics is an emerging category of impact measurement premised upon the value of “alternative metrics”. They are useful supplementary measures of impact, best used in tandem with traditional measures like citation counts. In short, Altmetrics is all about illustrating the full impact of a scientific work.

PlumX , is a tool that gives researchers and institutions a more complete view of the impact of their publications by harvesting and aggregating altmetrics data in five major categories: usage, captures, mentions, social media, and citations.

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we will take a closer look at highly cited articles by Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using PlumX to determine their altmetric impact. This month, we’re looking at a multi-author article with contributions by Dr. Paolo Boffetta, MD, MPH, Associate Director for Population Sciences of The Tisch Cancer Institute and Chief of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control of the Department of Oncological Sciences.  He is also the Bluhdorn Professor of International Community Medicine.

Citation: Etemadi A, Kamangar F, Islami F, Abney C, Malekzadeh R, Brennan P, Boffetta P, et al. Mortality and cancer in relation to ABO blood group phenotypes in the Golestan Cohort Study. BMC Med. 2015;13:8.

Article Summary: This large cohort study investigates the association between blood group alleles and disease incidence.


BACKGROUND: A few studies have shown an association between blood group alleles and vascular disease, including atherosclerosis, which is thought to be due to the higher level of von Willebrand factor in these individuals and the association of blood group locus variants with plasma lipid levels. No large population-based study has explored this association with overall and cause-specific mortality. METHODS: We aimed to study the association between ABO blood groups and overall and cause-specific mortality in the Golestan Cohort Study. In this cohort, 50,045 people 40- to 70-years old were recruited between 2004 and 2008, and followed annually to capture all incident cancers and deaths due to any cause. We used Cox regression models adjusted for age, sex, smoking, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, place of residence, education and opium use. RESULTS: During a total of 346,708 person-years of follow-up (mean duration 6.9 years), 3,623 cohort participants died. Non-O blood groups were associated with significantly increased total mortality (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01 to 1.17) and cardiovascular disease mortality (HR = 1.15; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.27). Blood group was not significantly associated with overall cancer mortality, but people with group A, group B, and all non-O blood groups combined had increased risk of incident gastric cancer. In a subgroup of cohort participants, we also showed higher plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in those with blood group A. CONCLUSIONS: Non-O blood groups have an increased mortality, particularly due to cardiovascular diseases, which may be due to the effect of blood group alleles on blood biochemistry or their effect on von Willebrand factor and factor VIII levels.

URL to this article on PlumX

Learn more about Dr. Boffetta’s Profile

Learn more about PlumX at Mount Sinai

“What is records management?”

I hear that a lot when I tell people that I’m the Records Manager here at Mount Sinai. And I will admit it is a fair question.

One fact that I can point out is that everyone has records that they manage. A very common example would be credit card bills. Whether you get an envelope in your mailbox or an email, every month you receive a statement telling you what you’ve charged and how much you need to pay. These statements are records. After paying the bank or American Express or the credit union, some people will save the statements, while others will delete or throw them away. That decision is a records management decision.

Mount Sinai creates or receives an enormous number of records every day, many with specific legal and regulatory requirements that must be met. One of the jobs of records management is to make sure that we keep these records long enough to meet these obligations. This is called setting retention periods and it is, in some ways, the simple part; most people like to hang on to their stuff.

The more difficult part is getting people to destroy records once their retention period is over. A few records do have long-term value; others are simply sent to storage and forgotten. Part of my job here is identifying those records that we no longer need to keep and convincing those responsible that it is okay destroy them. Since the expense of keeping records longer than necessary, in whatever format, is not trivial, this is important.

These two things are part of how Records Management helps Mount Sinai to actively manage our records. It sounds a lot like a parent trying to get a child to keep his or her room neat. It often feels like that but without the childish temper tantrums or teenage surliness. This is a serious business after all.

– Andrew Shultz, Records Manager

Welcome to John Graves, Director of Instructional Technology

We recently welcomed John Graves as Director of Instructional Technology in the division of Academic Informatics and Technology.  He is leading a creative team focused on serving students, faculty and researchers within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.  John is relaunching the instructional technology team and further expanding collaboration, academic media and distance education technologies throughout the School.

John comes to us from Yale University where he led a variety of successful initiatives to improve teaching and learning technologies throughout the institution. Over the past five years he deployed new collaboration technologies to support the Yale School of Nursing’s distance education efforts and most recently launched an extensive network of classroom recording systems within the Yale School of Medicine and the Yale Law School. In launching new campus technologies he has also championed several faculty and student instructional technology support initiatives. John holds a Master of Arts degree from Saint Michael’s College and a Bachelor of Media Studies from Radford University.  Join us in welcoming him to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai!