Do Articles Shared by Academic Medicine Social Media Influencers Drive Future Citation Rates? – Urology

Abstract:  Objectives

To assess the role of influential figures within social media (SoMe) in driving future citations.



All original articles published in the Journal of Urology (JU) and European Urology (EU) in 2018 were identified. For each article, number of mentions on any SoMe platform, article’s Twitter reach, and total citations were collected. Article characteristics such as type of study, article topic, and open access status were identified. Total academic research output was obtained for first and last authors of included articles.


Influential SoMe figures were defined as users that tweeted about included articles and had over 2000 followers. For these accounts, we collected total followers, total tweets, engagement statistics, verification status, and academic characteristics such as total citations and total prior publications. The impact of social media, article, and academic characteristics on future citations was assessed using panel data regression analysis.



We identified 394 articles with 8,895 total citations and 460 SoMe influencers. On panel data regression modeling, tweets about a specific article were associated with future citations (0.17 citations per tweet about an article, p<0.001). SoMe influencer characteristics were not associated with increased citations (p>0.05).

The following non-SoMe-associated characteristics were predictive of future citations (p<0.001): study type (prospective studies received 12.9 more citations than cross-sectional studies), open access status (4.3 citations more if open access, p<0.001), and previously well-published first and last authors.



While SoMe posts are associated with increased visibility and higher future citation rates, SoMe influencers do not appear to drive these outcomes. Instead, high quality and accessibility were more predictive of future citability.

Mastodon over Mammon – Towards publicly owned scholarly knowledge | Zenodo

Abstract:  Twitter is in turmoil and the scholarly community on the platform is once again starting to migrate. As with the early internet, scholarly organizations are at the forefront of developing and implementing a decentralized alternative to Twitter, Mastodon. Both historically and conceptually, this is not a new situation for the scholarly community. Historically, scholars were forced to leave social media platform FriendFeed after it was bought by Facebook in 2006. Conceptually, the problems associated with public scholarly discourse subjected to the whims of corporate owners are not unlike those of scholarly journals owned by monopolistic corporations: in both cases the perils associated with a public good in private hands are palpable. For both short form (Twitter/Mastodon) and longer form (journals) scholarly discourse, decentralized solutions exist, some of which are already enjoying some institutional support. Here we argue that scholarly organizations, in particular learned societies, are now facing a golden opportunity to rethink their hesitations towards such alternatives and support the migration of the scholarly community from Twitter to Mastodon by hosting Mastodon instances. Demonstrating that the scholarly community is capable of creating a truly public square for scholarly discourse, impervious to private takeover, might renew confidence and inspire the community to focus on analogous solutions for the remaining scholarly record – encompassing text, data and code – to safeguard all publicly owned scholarly knowledge.


Responsible dissemination of health and medical research: some guidance points | BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine

“Traditionally, research results were first shared within the scientific community, and then ‘translated’ into lay language for policymakers and other audiences via the media, policy briefs, lobbying. Today, preprints6 and press releases7 often come first. Dissemination of research findings to research participants and communities requires contextualised approaches and have been explored elsewhere.4 Similarly, trial registries8 and data sharing are explored elsewhere in this series. Here, we navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by dissemination through peer-review publications, abstracts, preprints, press release, media coverage and social media…”

Social media and academic surgical research dissemination – Surgery

Abstract:  Academic research dissemination has evolved tremendously throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries. With the advent of new technology and remote communication, the fast and efficient sharing of ideas has spread worldwide and has been appropriately embraced by academic surgical researchers. The use of social media by surgeons has expanded our ability to share hypotheses and published works that lead to higher degrees of collaboration than previously possible. The strengths of social media use for research dissemination in surgery include immediate collaboration on a global scale, faster dissemination of results previously hindered by the publishing process, open peer review from a wider audience, and enhancing the experience of academic meetings. However, social media use for research dissemination is not perfect and is hindered by lack of author verification, public misinterpretation, and lack of standardized enforceable professional guidelines. To combat these potential pitfalls, surgical societies should prioritize specific and intervenable guidelines for surgeons regarding the appropriate use of social media for research dissemination.


Altmetrics and their relationship with citation counts: a case of journal articles in physics | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The first purpose of the present study is to investigate the coverage of journal articles in Physics in various sources of altmetrics. Secondly, the study investigates the relationship between altmetrics and citations. Finally, the study also investigates whether the relationship between citations and altmetrics was stronger or weaker for those articles that had been mentioned at least once in the sources of altmetrics.


The journal articles in Physics having at least one author from an Indian Institution and published during 2014–2018 in sources of altmetrics have been investigated. was used for collecting altmetrics data. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (?) has been used as the data found to be skewed.


The highest coverage was found on Twitter (22.68%), followed by Facebook (3.62%) and blogs (2.18%). The coverage in the rest of the sources was less than 1%. The average Twitter mentions for journal articles tweeted at least once was found to be 4 (3.99) and for Facebook mentions, it was found to be 1.48. Correlations between Twitter mentions–citations and Facebook mentions–citation were found to be statistically significant but low to weak positive.

Research limitations/implications

The study concludes that due to the low coverage of journal articles, altmetrics should be used cautiously for research evaluation keeping in mind the disciplinary differences. The study also suggests that altmetrics can function as complementary to citation-based metrics.


The study is one of the first large scale altmetrics studies dealing with research in Physics. Also, Indian research has not been attended to in the altmetrics literature and the present study shall fill that void.

Post or Perish? Social Media Strategies for Disseminating Orthopedic Research – Buettmann – Journal of Orthopaedic Research – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Social media usage, particularly Twitter, among scientists in academia has increased in recent years. However, Twitter’s use in scholarly post-publication dissemination of orthopaedic research and musculoskeletal advocacy remains low. To enhance usage of Twitter among musculoskeletal researchers, this article reviews data supporting the professional benefits of using the platform to disseminate scholarly works. Next, we provide a linear workflow for Tweet curation, discuss the importance of data-driven decision making behind tweet curation and posting, and propose new guidelines for professional Twitter usage. Since this workflow may not eliminate all the identified barriers and new institutionalized shifts in policies regarding curation and consumption of social media on Twitter, we also briefly introduce and explore using other social media platforms. We hope this information will be persuasive and compelling to those in the orthopedic research field and be broadly applicable to others in related scientific fields who wish to disseminate findings and engage a public audience on social media. In addition, we encourage the Orthopedic Research Society (ORS) and Journal of Orthopedic Research (JOR) communities to take advantage of the many tools curated by the Wiley editorial office and the ORS social media committee to increase dissemination of their scholarly works online. Twitter and social media can assist in accomplishing our mission of creating a world without musculoskeletal limitations via the timely dissemination of orthopedic information. However, this can only be accomplished if the orthopedic research community has a unified and strong online presence actively engaged in orthopaedic research findings and news.


Restricting Reddit Data Access Threatens Online Safety & Public-Interest Research

“Last week, soon after Reddit announced plans to restrict free access to the Reddit API, the company cut off access to Pushshift, a data resource widely used by communities, journalists, and thousands of academics worldwide (see Pushshift’s official response).

We are writing to express concern about this sudden disruption to critical resources, and the uncertainty about the future it has created. We are asking for clarification and a meeting about the best ways to restore essential functionality for the communities that power your platform and the researchers who rely on your platform for essential public-interest work. To support that dialogue, we are coordinating a survey of the impact.

By preventing communities from accessing the very data they generate, Reddit has severely disrupted the safety and functionality of your platform. As you know, Reddit relies on volunteers to create moderation technologies and to do moderation labor that costs your competitors hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Tens of thousands of volunteers protect children’s safety, manage sensitive mental health support, and mediate some of the world’s largest conversation spaces for constructive civic discourse.

To succeed at their role, these unpaid leaders and workers need to access historical and contemporary community data to moderate a conversation space with over 1.5 billion active users. For many years, Reddit has relied on volunteer labor and computing infrastructure from Pushshift to provide communities with essential data services. You have now cut that off without warning to communities and haven’t offered alternatives, which will degrade safety protections across Reddit….”

ACS Environmental Au?How to Improve the Reach of Your Open Access Research | ACS Environmental Au

“Researchers at universities and other organizations are increasingly expected to demonstrate not only the scholarly impact of their research but also to show that the research has a broader reach and societal impact. Various metrics measure the impact of a research article. Many researchers are accustomed to assessing the impact of their articles by counting the number of citations after publication using online databases. While the number of citations provides one measure of the scholarly impact of an article, it does not necessarily provide information on whether the article is reaching a wider audience.

An additional metric available in ACS Environmental Au and all ACS journals is the Altmetric score. The web page for articles in ACS Environmental Au displays the number of “Article Views,” which is the total number of full-text article downloads (both PDF and HTML) across all institutions and individuals, the Altmetric score, and the number of citations since the publication of the article. The full-text article download number itself is a key indicator of the growing influence of an article. The Altmetric score records the attention an article has received online by measuring the number of times an article is reported in news outlets and articles, commented on in blogs, posted on social media (generally Twitter and Reddit), saved in reference managers such as Mendeley, or listed in an online encyclopedia (Wikipedia). An overall score is attributed to each article based on these measures. The makeup of the score is revealed by clicking on the Altmetric score or “doughnut” on the article web page….”

[2304.05157] The Many Publics of Science: Using Altmetrics to Identify Common Communication Channels by Scientific field

Abstract:  Altmetrics have led to new quantitative studies of science through social media interactions. However, there are no models of science communication that respond to the multiplicity of non-academic channels. Using the 3653 authors with the highest volume of altmetrics mentions from the main channels (Twitter, News, Facebook, Wikipedia, Blog, Policy documents, and Peer reviews) to their publications (2016-2020), it has been analyzed where the audiences of each discipline are located. The results evidence the generalities and specificities of these new communication models and the differences between areas. These findings are useful for the development of science communication policies and strategies.


Second-order Citations in Altmetrics: A Case Study Analyzing the Audiences of COVID-19 Research in the News and on Social Media | bioRxiv

Abstract:  The potential to capture the societal impact of research has been a driving motivation for the use and development of altmetrics. Yet, to date, altmetrics have largely failed to deliver on this potential because the primary audience who cites research on social media has been shown to be academics themselves. In response, our study investigates an extension of traditional altmetric approaches that goes beyond capturing direct mentions of research on social media. Using research articles from the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study, we demonstrate the value of measuring ‘second-order citations,’ or social media mentions of news coverage of research. We find that a sample of these citations, published by just five media outlets, were shared and engaged with on social media twice as much as the research articles themselves. Moreover, first-order and second-order citations circulated among Twitter accounts and Facebook accounts that were largely distinct from each other. The differences in audiences and engagement patterns found in this case study highlight the importance of news coverage as a public source of science information and provide strong evidence that investigating these second-order citations can be an effective way of observing non-academic audiences that engage with research content.


Towards a better understanding of Facebook Altmetrics in LIS field: assessing the characteristics of involved paper, user and post | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Facebook mentions to scholarly papers have provided a novel way for reflecting and measuring the process of informal scientific communication. To uncover the underlying mechanism of Facebook Altmetrics, it is essential to investigate characteristics of its contextual data. Take library and information science papers for empirical study, three categories of contextual data were gathered, namely data of mentioned LIS papers, data of Facebook users and data of Facebook post. Hybrid methods including statistical analysis, content analysis and visualization analysis were adopted to analyze the data. Results show that: (1) Positive open access status and active Facebook account would help get scholarly paper mentioned but would not boost the number of Facebook mentions. Number of citations, number of collaborative institutions, and number of collaborative countries showed a significantly positive correlation with the number of Facebook mentions. Health information management was identified to be the most mentioned research topic while bibliometrics and scientific evaluation has received on average the highest number of Facebook mentions. (2) Scientific Facebook users that mention LIS papers were widely scattered geographically but dominated by USA, Spain, Germany, Brazil and Australia. Institutional users (89%) and academic users (84%) are prevailing, especially universities (14%), research institutes (12%), libraries (11%), academic associations (9%) and commercial organizations (8%). (3) Most scientific Facebook posts were relatively short, while the language distribution was less skewed than that of scientific tweets. The post content is mostly a combination of text, links, and pictures and with neutral sentiment. Different types of users have demonstrated significantly different style of content and concerned topics. These findings indicate that Facebook mentions to LIS papers mainly reflect the institutional level advocacy and attention, with low level of engagement, and could be influenced by several features including collaborative patterns and research topics.


Twitter turbulences and their impact on Altmetric… · Open Access @ Strathclyde

“So the most likely explanation one is able to fathom is that the ‘Twitter crisis’ may be hitting services largely based on social media impact. It’s not just that the desertion of large swathes of very active communicators in the scholarly comms domain to Mastodon has dried up the references (tweets) that should be there for Altmetric to catch. It’s – presumably – also that such a hit to the information-gathering workflow and to its associated business model has somehow rendered the Altmetric snapshot unreliable. The impact of this paper a week after release has surely been higher than 17 (as of Mar 21st, screenshot posted at the top)….”

Social media data for environmental sustainability: A critical review of opportunities, threats, and ethical use: One Earth

Abstract:  Social media data are transforming sustainability science. However, challenges from restrictions in data accessibility and ethical concerns regarding potential data misuse have threatened this nascent field. Here, we review the literature on the use of social media data in environmental and sustainability research. We find that they can play a novel and irreplaceable role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals by allowing a nuanced understanding of human-nature interactions at scale, observing the dynamics of social-ecological change, and investigating the co-construction of nature values. We reveal threats to data access and highlight scientific responsibility to address trade-offs between research transparency and privacy protection, while promoting inclusivity. This contributes to a wider societal debate of social media data for sustainability science and for the common good.


Promoting Publications Through Plastic Surgery Journal Insta… : Annals of Plastic Surgery

Abstract:  Purpose 

Journals are increasingly using social media to increase article engagement. We aim to determine the impact of Instagram promotion on, and identify social media tools that effectively enhance, plastic surgery article engagement and impact.


Instagram accounts for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery were reviewed for posts published by February 8, 2022. Open access journal articles were excluded. Post caption word count and number of likes, tagged accounts, and hashtags were recorded. Inclusion of videos, article links, or author introductions was noted. All articles from journal issues published between the dates of the first and last posts promoting articles were reviewed. Altmetric data approximated article engagement. Citation numbers from the National Institutes of Health iCite tool approximated impact. Differences in engagement and impact of articles with and without Instagram promotion were compared by Mann-Whitney U tests. Univariate and multivariable regressions identified factors predictive of more engagement (Altmetric Attention Score, ?5) and citations (?7).


A total of 5037 articles were included, with 675 (13.4%) promoted on Instagram. Of posts featuring articles, 274 (40.6%) included videos, 469 (69.5%) included article links, and 123 included (18.2%) author introductions. Promoted articles had higher median Altmetric Attention Scores and citations (P < 0.001). On multivariable analysis, using more hashtags predicted higher article Altmetric Attention Scores (odds ratio [OR], 1.85; P = 0.002) and more citations (OR, 1.90; P < 0.001). Including article links (OR, 3.52; P < 0.001) and tagging more accounts (OR, 1.64; P = 0.022) predicted higher Altmetric Attention Scores. Including author introductions negatively predicted Altmetric Attention Scores (OR, 0.46; P < 0.001) and citations (OR, 0.65; P = 0.047). Caption word count had no significant impact on article engagement or impact.


Instagram promotion increases plastic surgery article engagement and impact. Journals should use more hashtags, tag more accounts, and include manuscript links to increase article metrics. We recommend that authors promote on journal social media to maximize article reach, engagement, and citations, which positively impacts research productivity with minimal additional effort in designing Instagram content.

The Twitter accounts of scientific journals: a dataset – Insights

Abstract:  Twitter harbours dense networks of academics, but to what extent do scientific journals use that platform? This article introduces a dataset of 3,485 Twitter accounts pertaining to a sample of 13,821 journals listed in Web of Science’s three major indices (SCIE, SSCI and AHCI). The summary statistics indicate that 25.2% of the journals have a dedicated Twitter presence. This number is likely to grow, as, on average, every one and a half days sees yet another journal setting up a new profile. The share of Twitter presence, however, varies strongly by publisher and discipline. The most active discipline is political science, which has almost 75% of its journals on Twitter, while other research categories have zero. The median account issues 116 messages a year and it interacts with distinct other users once in two to three Tweets. Approximately 600 journals refer to themselves as ‘peer-reviewed’, while 263 journals refer to their citation-based impact (like the impact factor) in their profile description. All in all, the data convey immense heterogeneity with respect to the Twitter behaviour of scientific journals. As there are numerous deceptive Twitter profile names established by predatory publishers, it is recommended that journals establish their official accounts lest bogus journals mislead the public about scientific findings. The dataset is available for use for further scientometric analyses.