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.”

Can altmetric mentions predict later citations? A test of validity on data from ResearchGate and three social media platforms | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The main purpose of this study is to explore and validate the question “whether altmetric mentions can predict citations to scholarly articles”. The paper attempts to explore the nature and degree of correlation between altmetrics (from ResearchGate and three social media platforms) and citations.

Design/methodology/approach

A large size data sample of scholarly articles published from India for the year 2016 is obtained from the Web of Science database and the corresponding altmetric data are obtained from ResearchGate and three social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and blog through Altmetric.com aggregator). Correlations are computed between early altmetric mentions and later citation counts, for data grouped in different disciplinary groups.

Findings

Results show that the correlation between altmetric mentions and citation counts are positive, but weak. Correlations are relatively higher in the case of data from ResearchGate as compared to the data from the three social media platforms. Further, significant disciplinary differences are observed in the degree of correlations between altmetrics and citations.

Research limitations/implications

The results support the idea that altmetrics do not necessarily reflect the same kind of impact as citations. However, articles that get higher altmetric attention early may actually have a slight citation advantage. Further, altmetrics from academic social networks like ResearchGate are more correlated with citations, as compared to social media platforms.

Originality/value

The paper has novelty in two respects. First, it takes altmetric data for a window of about 1–1.5 years after the article publication and citation counts for a longer citation window of about 3–4 years after the publication of article. Second, it is one of the first studies to analyze data from the ResearchGate platform, a popular academic social network, to understand the type and degree of correlations.

Symptom Data Challenge

“Can you develop a novel analytic approach that uses the CMU/UMD COVID-19 Symptom Survey data to enable earlier detection and improved situational awareness of the outbreak by public health authorities and the general public? …

Semi-finalists and finalists are eligible for cash prizes, and finalists will join discussions with partners on how to improve and deploy their submissions….”

[1909.01476] How much research shared on Facebook is hidden from public view? A comparison of public and private online activity around PLOS ONE papers

Abstract:  Despite its undisputed position as the biggest social media platform, Facebook has never entered the main stage of altmetrics research. In this study, we argue that the lack of attention by altmetrics researchers is not due to a lack of relevant activity on the platform, but because of the challenges in collecting Facebook data have been limited to activity that takes place in a select group of public pages and groups. We present a new method of collecting shares, reactions, and comments across the platform-including private timelines-and use it to gather data for all articles published between 2015 to 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE. We compare the gathered data with altmetrics collected and aggregated by Altmetric. The results show that 58.7% of papers shared on the platform happen outside of public view and that, when collecting all shares, the volume of activity approximates patterns of engagement previously only observed for Twitter. Both results suggest that the role and impact of Facebook as a medium for science and scholarly communication has been underestimated. Furthermore, they emphasise the importance of openness and transparency around the collection and aggregation of altmetrics.

 

Update from Gary King and Nate Persily | SOCIAL SCIENCE ONE

When we created Social Science One to facilitate access for the world’s social scientific community to social media data, we promised to release periodic updates noting our progress and describing the challenges we confront….

Of course, we recognized that working with Facebook would invite heavy scrutiny, given the maelstrom of controversy on many fronts that has engulfed the company since the 2016 election, not the least of it for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which was an academic scandal as well.  We hoped, however, that rigorous and careful scientific analysis of Facebook data, without funding from or pre-publication approval by Facebook, would provide valuable independent assessment of the conventional wisdom as to the platform’s varied effects on elections and democracy around the world.  We also hoped that we could prove the model we had developed for industry-academic partnerships and show how company data could be made accessible in a legal, trusted, privacy-preserving, and secure fashion that benefits everyone. The potential benefits for the social sciences, and for society at large, are so large that getting this right is critical….

We are close to being able to announce the first set of research teams approved for financial awards and data access….

[W]e plan to release access to data for approved researchers in two stages instead of all at once….

We continue to believe in the critical importance of opening up access for researchers to the most important information private companies possess on the nature of modern society and social interaction.  …”

Should OATP create a Facebook feed?

“The Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) publishes a daily feed of news about open access (OA). The feed is available in eight file formats to suit people with different needs or preferences: Atom, Email, Google+, HTML, JSON, Pushbullet, RSS, and Twitter.

https://cyber.harvard.edu/hoap/OATP_feeds#Versions_of_the_primary_project_feed

But OATP doesn’t have a Facebook feed. This is deliberate. I think Facebook deceives and exploits its users. I don’t want to encourage its use. On the other hand, I want OATP to reach everyone who cares about OA. It might miss a lot of OA people by refusing to create a Facebook feed….

Should OATP create a Facebook feed? Would any of you subscribe? Would any of you prefer it to the formats we already offer? ….”

(2) Peter Suber – Google+ – Elsevier, NewsCorp, Facebook, and Yahoo join ignorant…

Elsevier, NewsCorp, Facebook, and Yahoo are some of the major players in NetChoice, an industry group “promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.” …NetChoice has a watch list for bad legislation that it calls iAWFUL (Internet Advocates’ Watchlist for Ugly Laws). The latest version of iAWFUL includes the White House OA directive plus the state-level OA bills in California, Illinois, and North Dakota. (Yes, there was a bill in ND, and no, NetChoice doesn’t seem to know about the OA bill in NY.) …Insofar as NetChoice has an argument for opposing these OA initiatives, it’s a crude bolus of false assertions and assumptions. I haven’t seen this kind of motivated distortion since the days of PRISM and the Research Works Act….” [There follows five quotations from NetChoice and Suber’s rebuttal or correction.]