Background: Scholarly output has typically been measured by citation-based metrics such as the Hirsch index (h-index). The Altmetric Attention Score has emerged as a substitute to measure digital attention given to a project. This study aims to determine whether there is any correlation between h-index and the Altmetric score in the plastic surgery literature. Methods: Article metrics (full-text views, abstract views, PDF downloads, times e-mailed, Altmetric Attention Score, times tweeted, and number of citations by posts) were extracted from articles published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery over a 2-year period. Author metrics, including h5-index, were also collected. Pairwise correlations were performed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (r). Results: A total of 1668 articles were published, with 971 included. Altmetric Attention Scores showed strong correlation with other article metrics (r = 0.48 to 0.97; p < 0.001) but weak correlation with h5-index (r = 0.14; p < 0.001) and sum of times cited without self-citation (r = 0.14; p < 0.001). It did not correlate with total publications, average citations per item, or sum of times cited. The h5-indexes showed strong positive correlation with other author bibliometrics (r = 0.66 to 0.97; p < 0.001); moderate correlation with times e-mailed (r = 0.41; p < 0.001); weak correlation with number of citations by posts (r = 0.10; p = 0.002); and no correlation with full-text views, abstract views, PDF downloads, and times tweeted. Conclusion: The Altmetric Attention Score and conventional senior author bibliometrics have weak positive correlation at best and appear to have distinct but complementary roles in measuring scholarly output.
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