Catalyzing a Cultural Renaissance (Consilience Project)

“The Consilience Project is focused on research, publication and the building of a decentralized movement towards enhanced collective intelligence. At the heart of the project is a series of interconnected articles called the Consilience Papers. Once complete, these articles will constitute an open curriculum that covers humanity’s current risk landscape, the inadequacy of existing social institutions, and the theoretical basis of the social technologies of the future. Over the next five years, we will share the ideas within the Consilience Papers through a variety of platforms and provide support to aligned projects and initiatives. Through our growing network, we aim to guide decision-makers, cultural influencers, and eventually everyone in society towards the issues necessary to address the unique challenges of our time.

All of our content is and always will be free and accessible to everyone, because we believe that universal access to high quality information is critical for the functioning of open societies. To protect the quality and integrity of what we do, we will not accept funding from sources that seek any kind of influence through their support. Guided by an ethical framework, we will develop and share the Consilience Papers in order to articulate the potential criteria for the next phase of civilization design. Our aspiration is to help people to develop the knowledge, understanding, and societal awareness needed for a new kind of emergent governance that will increase meaningful quality of life for all.”

Credibility of scientific information on social media: Variation by platform, genre and presence of formal credibility cues | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press

Abstract:  Responding to calls to take a more active role in communicating their research findings, scientists are increasingly using open online platforms, such as Twitter, to engage in science communication or to publicize their work. Given the ease with which misinformation spreads on these platforms, it is important for scientists to present their findings in a manner that appears credible. To examine the extent to which the online presentation of science information relates to its perceived credibility, we designed and conducted two surveys on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. In the first survey, participants rated the credibility of science information on Twitter compared with the same information in other media, and in the second, participants rated the credibility of tweets with modified characteristics: presence of an image, text sentiment, and the number of likes/retweets. We find that similar information about scientific findings is perceived as less credible when presented on Twitter compared to other platforms, and that perceived credibility increases when presented with recognizable features of a scientific article. On a platform as widely distrusted as Twitter, use of these features may allow researchers who regularly use Twitter for research-related networking and communication to present their findings in the most credible formats.

 

Research data communication strategy at the time of pandemics: a retrospective analysis of the Italian experience | Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease

Abstract:  Coronavirus pandemic has radically changed the scientific world. During these difficult times, standard peer-review processes could be too long for the continuously evolving knowledge about this disease. We wanted to assess whether the use of other types of network could be a faster way to disseminate the knowledge about Coronavirus disease. We retrospectively analyzed the data flow among three distinct groups of networks during the first three months of the pandemic: PubMed, preprint repositories (biorXiv and arXiv) and social media in Italy (Facebook and Twitter). The results show a significant difference in the number of original research articles published by PubMed and preprint repositories. On social media, we observed an incredible number of physicians participating to the discussion, both on three distinct Italian-speaking Facebook groups and on Twitter. The standard scientific process of publishing articles (i.e., the peer-review process) remains the best way to get access to high-quality research. Nonetheless, this process may be too long during an emergency like a pandemic. The thoughtful use of other types of network, such as preprint repositories and social media, could be taken into consideration in order to improve the clinical management of COVID-19 patients.

 

Demand five precepts to aid social-media watchdogs

“I propose the following. First, give researchers access to the same targeting tools that platforms offer to advertisers and commercial partners. Second, for publicly viewable content, allow researchers to combine and share data sets by supplying keys to application programming interfaces. Third, explicitly allow users to donate data about their online behaviour for research, and make code used for such studies publicly reviewable for security flaws. Fourth, create safe-haven protections that recognize the public interest. Fifth, mandate regular audits of algorithms that moderate content and serve ads….

Part of the solution is to create legal systems, not just technical ones, that distinguish between bad intent and legitimate, public-spirited research that can help to uncover social media’s effects on economies and societies.

 

The influence of social-media companies is undeniable, and executives such as Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg sincerely believe that their platforms make the world a better place. But they have been unwilling to give researchers the data to demonstrate whether this is so. It is time for society to demand access to those data.”

Tackling information overload: identifying relevant preprints and reviewers – ASAPbio

“Christine Ferguson and Martin Fenner outlined their proposal to develop ways for researchers to find preprints relevant to their research immediately after the preprints appear. They propose an automated system that would identify preprints posted in the previous few days that had received attention via Twitter (i.e. based on the preprint receiving a minimal number of tweets).

During the discussion, the session attendees mentioned a number of currently-available tools that collect reactions and attention on preprints and/or allow researchers to discover the latest preprints:

CrossRef collects Event Data for individual preprints, including social media mentions, Hypothes.is annotations and more.
The Rxivist.org tool allows searching for bioRxiv and medRxiv preprints based on Twitter activity.
The search.bioPreprint tool developed by the University of PIttsburgh Medical Library allows searching preprints from different servers based on keywords or topics.
bioRxiv provides search options based on discipline and also has a dashboard that collects reactions and reviews on individual preprints, including Twitter comments.
EMBO has developed the Early Evidence Base platform which allows searching for refereed preprints.
Google Scholar indexes preprints and provides some filtering tools.

The attendees raised some questions about the use of Twitter as a filter and the risks for a metric based on tweets. How can we account for the risk of social media users gaming the system by artificially boosting attention on Twitter? How can we normalize for the fact that methods papers tend to receive more attention? Is there a risk that this system will be focused on papers from high-income countries that already receive a disproportionate share of attention?…”

Can Twitter data help in spotting problems early with publications? What retracted COVID-19 papers can teach us about science in the public sphere | Impact of Social Sciences

“Publications that are based on wrong data, methodological mistakes, or contain other types of severe errors can spoil the scientific record if they are not retracted. Retraction of publications is one of the effective ways to correct the scientific record. However, before a problematic publication can be retracted, the problem has to be found and brought to the attention of the people involved (the authors of the publication and editors of the journal). The earlier a problem with a published paper is detected, the earlier the publication can be retracted and the less wasted effort goes into new research that is based on disinformation within the scientific record. Therefore, it would be advantageous to have an early warning system that spots potential problems with published papers, or maybe even before based on a preprint version….”

Correlation between Twitter mentions and academic citations in sexual medicine journals | International Journal of Impotence Research

Abstract:  Social media services, especially Twitter, are used as a commonly sharing tool in the scientific world. This widespread use of Twitter would be an effective method in spreading academic publications. So, we aimed to investigate the relationship between Twitter mentions and traditional citations of articles in sexual medicine journals in this study. We reviewed the articles published in seven journals of sexual medicine (2 years after the publication of the articles) between January 2018 and June 2018. In the first half of 2018, 410 articles were extracted. Of these, 352 (85.9%) were original articles, while 58 (14.1%) were review articles. The median number of citations of the articles mentioned at least once on Twitter was 7 (interquartile range: 0–111) for Google Scholar, whereas it was 0 (interquartile range: 0–63) for Scopus, respectively. It was 4 (interquartile range: 0–25) for Google Scholar and 0 (interquartile range: 0–7) for Scopus. The publications mentioned on Twitter were cited more than the non-mentioned publications in the traditional-based citation system (p?<?0.001). A significant relationship between the citation numbers and tweet numbers was also observed (p?<?0.001). Also, in the linear regression model, the tweet numbers (p?<?0.001) and article types (p?<?0.001) were found to be related to the Google Scholar citation numbers. In conclusion, using Twitter as a professional tool in academic life would allow information to be propagated and responded quickly, especially for sexual medicine journals.

 

Altmetric Score Has a Stronger Relationship With Article Citations Than Journal Impact Factor and Open Access Status: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of 4,022 Sports Science Articles | Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy

Abstract:  Objective

To assess the relationship of individual article citations in the Sport Sciences field to (i) journal impact factor; (ii) each article’s open access status; and (iii) Altmetric score components.

 

Design

Cross-sectional.

 

Methods

We searched the ISI Web of Knowledge InCites Journal Citation Reports database “Sport Sciences” category for the 20 journals with the highest 2-year impact factor in 2018. We extracted the impact factor for each journal and each article’s open access status (yes or no). Between September 2019 and February 2020, we obtained individual citations, Altmetric scores and details of Altmetric components (e.g. number of tweets, Facebook posts, etc.) for each article published in 2017. Linear and multiple regression models were used to assess the relationship between the dependent variable (citation number) and the independent variables article Altmetric score and open access status, and journal impact factor.

 

Results

4,022 articles were included. Total Altmetric score, journal impact factor and open access status, respectively explained 32%, 14%, and 1% of the variance in article citations (when combined, the variables explained 40% of the variance in article citations). The number of tweets related to an article was the Altmetric component that explained the highest proportion of article citations (37%).

 

Conclusion

Altmetric scores in Sports Sciences journals have a stronger relationship with number of citations than does journal impact factor or open access status. Twitter may be the best social media platform to promote a research article as it has a strong relationship with article citations.

Modern Health Journalism and the Impact of Social Media

Abstract:  

Scholarly journals are hubs of hypotheses, evidence-based data, and practice recommendations that shape health research and practice worldwide. The advancement of science and information technologies has made online accessibility a basic requirement, paving the way for the advent of open access publishing, and more recently, to web-based health journalism. Especially in the time of the current pandemic, health professionals have turned to the internet, and primarily to social media, as a source of rapid information transfer and international communication. Hence, the current pandemic has ushered an era of digital transformation of science, and we attempt to understand and assess the impact of this digitization on modern health journalism.

 

Social media attention and citations of published outputs from re-use of clinical trial data: a matched comparison with articles published in the same journals | BMC Medical Research Methodology | Full Text

Abstract:  Background

Data-sharing policies in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) should have an evaluation component. The main objective of this case–control study was to assess the impact of published re-uses of RCT data in terms of media attention (Altmetric) and citation rates.

Methods

Re-uses of RCT data published up to December 2019 (cases) were searched for by two reviewers on 3 repositories (CSDR, YODA project, and Vivli) and matched to control papers published in the same journal. The Altmetric Attention Score (primary outcome), components of this score (e.g. mention of policy sources, media attention) and the total number of citations were compared between these two groups.

Results

89 re-uses were identified: 48 (53.9%) secondary analyses, 34 (38.2%) meta-analyses, 4 (4.5%) methodological analyses and 3 (3.4%) re-analyses. The median (interquartile range) Altmetric Attention Scores were 5.9 (1.3—22.2) for re-use and 2.8 (0.3—12.3) for controls (p?=?0.14). No statistical difference was found on any of the components of in the Altmetric Attention Score. The median (interquartile range) numbers of citations were 3 (1—8) for reuses and 4 (1 – 11.5) for controls (p?=?0.30). Only 6/89 re-uses (6.7%) were cited in a policy source.

Conclusions

Using all available re-uses of RCT data to date from major data repositories, we were not able to demonstrate that re-uses attracted more attention than a matched sample of studies published in the same journals. Small average differences are still possible, as the sample size was limited. However matching choices have some limitations so results should be interpreted very cautiously. Also, citations by policy sources for re-uses were rare.

Optimizing the use of twitter for research dissemination: The “Three Facts and a Story” Randomized-Controlled Trial – Journal of Hepatology

Abstract:  Background

Published research promoted on twitter reaches more readers. Tweets with graphics are more engaging than those without. Data are limited, however, regarding how to optimize a multimedia tweets for engagement

Methods

The “Three facts and a Story” trial is a randomized-controlled trial comparing a tweet featuring a graphical abstract to paired tweets featuring the personal motivations behind the research and a summary of the findings. Fifty-four studies published by the Journal of Hepatology were randomized at the time of online publication. The primary endpoint was assessed at 28-days from online publication with a primary outcome of full-text downloads from the website. Secondary outcomes included page views and twitter engagement including impressions, likes, and retweets.

Results

Overall, 31 studies received standard tweets and 23 received story tweets. Five studies were randomized to story tweets but crossed over to standard tweets for lack of author participation. Most papers tweeted were original articles (94% standard, 91% story) and clinical topics (55% standard, 61% story). Story tweets were associated with a significant increase in the number of full text downloads, 51 (34-71) versus 25 (13-41), p=0.002. There was also a non-significant increase in the number of page views. Story tweets generated an average of >1,000 more impressions than standard tweets (5,388 vs 4,280, p=0.002). Story tweets were associated with a similar number of retweets, and a non-significant increase in the number of likes.

Conclusion

Tweets featuring the authors and their motivations may increase engagement with published research.

WILL PODCASTING AND SOCIAL MEDIA REPLACE JOURNALS AND TRADITIONAL SCIENCE COMMUNICATION? NO, BUT… | American Journal of Epidemiology | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  The digital world in which we live is changing rapidly. The changing media environment is having a direct impact on traditional forms of communication and knowledge translation in public health and epidemiology. Openly accessible digital media can be used to reach a broader and more diverse audience of trainees, scientists, and the lay public than traditional forms of scientific communication. The new digital landscape for delivering content is vast and new platforms are continuously being added. We focus on several, including Twitter and podcasting and discuss their relevance to epidemiology and science communication. We highlight three key reasons why we think epidemiologists should be engaging with these mediums: 1) science communication, 2) career advancement, 3) development of a community and public service. Other positive and negative consequences of engaging in these forms of new media are also discussed. The authors of this commentary are all engaged in social media and podcasting for scientific communication and in this manuscript, we reflect on our experience with these mediums as tools to advance the field of epidemiology.

 

Social media platforms: a primer for researchers

Abstract:  Social media platforms play an increasingly important role in research, education, and clinical practice. As an inseparable part of open science, these platforms may increase the visibility of research outputs and facilitate scholarly networking. The editors who ethically moderate Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media accounts for their journals may engage influential authors in the post-publication communication and expand societal implications of their publications. Several social media aggregators track and generate alternative metrics which can be used by researchers for visualizing trending articles in their fields. More and more publishers showcase their achievements by displaying such metrics along with traditional citations. The Scopus database also tracks both metrics to offer a comprehensive coverage of the indexed articles’ impact.

Understanding the advantages and limitations of various social media channels is essential for actively contributing to the post-publication communication, particularly in research-intensive fields such as rheumatology.