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“Mistakes are the portals of discovery” - James Joyce

Interest Number


Until today, different metrics have been used to quantify the productivity and/or the impact of scientific journals, articles or authors. A lot of criticisms have been made around their usage and we will not fuel the controversy. In a general way, we do not agree with the tendency of quantifying the value of science. A result or an idea may go unnoticed until its author or someone else uses it in a new context through new connections and reveals its full potential. This occurred multiple times throughout history and for each case, the scientific value in itself never changed.

In this sense, we propose a very simple alternative that focuses on articles and the interest they arouse, the Interest Number (IN). Our approach is based on the principle that during its bibliographic research, a scientist will read numerous articles that are related to its work and will save only those that have a direct impact on it.

We defined Interest Number (IN) as follows:

     \[ IN = \frac{N_d }{ N_v}, N_v \]

where Nd is the number of downloads of the corresponding article and Nv, the number of unique views of its html format.

Thus, if an article has been read by 134 unique readers and downloaded 90 times,

IN = 67% , 134