Influence of Social Networking Sites on Scholarly Communication: An Altmetrics Analysis of Selected LIS Journals

Abstract:  Abstract. This study aims to examine the influence of social networking sites on scholarly papers published in Library and Information Science journals. Top 100 articles published in two renowned journals International Journal of Information Management and the Journal of Medical Library Association, that received high Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) have been taken for the study. The analysis found that LIS research is most often mentioned on Twitter, followed by news outlets and blogs. Student groups and librarians are among the most frequent readers of the publications. The Pearson correlation coefficient test revealed a very high and significant positive correlation between Scopus citation and Dimensions.ai citation, Mendeley readership and Scopus citation. However, AAS and Dimensions.ai citation is low correlation and statistically not significant. The findings indicate that journals need social media profiles to disseminate information among academia and society to increase online attention to LIS  research.

Keywords: Altmetrics, LIS research, online attention, dimensions, social media metrics.

OPERAS’ Assembly of the Commons

In classical governance schemes, there is a separation of powers that leads funders and policy-making authorities to discuss and make decisions on their side with no or just indirect consultation of the community. We, at OPERAS, did not want that. The OPERAS AISBL governance scheme traverses the different layers of the organization, such as management, strategy, policy, and support. Furthermore, it establishes the levels of engagement of the different types of stakeholders in the development of the OPERAS Research Infrastructure. 

The Assembly of the Commons (AoC) is one of OPERAS’ governance bodies and it gathers all Ordinary Members of the infrastructure. It is convened at least once a year and the OPERAS’ second Assembly of the Commons took place virtually on May 11th, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM CET. It had a double objective of discussing the work completed in the Special Interest Groups over the course of the previous year and electing the two representatives of the OPERAS community: Vanessa Proudman and Mark Huskisson.

You can find more information about the meeting, the vision and the representatives below.

Participants of the Assembly of the Commons (May 11, 2022)

Pierre Mounier, OPERAS’ coordinator, opened the Assembly of the Commons by giving a short overview of the meaning of the AoC and its place in the governance of OPERAS.

As a multi-stakeholder organization, OPERAS is governed through several assemblies that represent the diversity of stakeholders engaged in their development. The Executive Assembly (EA) gathers the core members of OPERAS. These are the organizations that are more committed than others to the development of the infrastructure, and they are responsible for (1) organizing their national communities, (2) leading the Special Interest Groups, and (3) taking the decisions related to OPERAS on a monthly basis. The General Assembly (GA) gathers the national authorities such as the ministries and research communities and the supporting members. It convenes once a year and approves the budget and global strategy of the infrastructure. The Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) advises us on scientific matters. The Coordination Team (OCT) manages the infrastructure on a daily basis.

The Assembly of the Commons (AoC) represents the community in its entirety and gathers all Ordinary Members. At the same time, the AoC is the addition of all the Special Interest Groups and their participants. We named the AoC as such in reference to the theory of Elinor Oström. According to her, goods are better governed collectively by a community than individually as private property. Those goods that are better governed as commons are some material goods such as forests, fisheries, and grazing lands, but also immaterial goods such as knowledge and its infrastructure. Therefore, we see the AoC as the assembly of all those people who take care of the tools, services, and platforms, and have the know-how that enables product sharing and knowledge dissemination.

After this highlight on the importance of the Commons for the infrastructure, the participants of the meeting had the opportunity to choose their delegates. The two candidates, Vanessa Proudman and Mark Huskisson, introduced themselves and engaged in a debate with the participants.

Vanessa Proudman is Director of SPARC Europe with 20 years of program management experience in facilitating access to knowledge in Europe and advocating for change to increase more equitable access to knowledge. 

Over the years her focus has been on Open Access, Open Science, Open Culture, and Open Education working with many leading universities and libraries worldwide. Research and knowledge exchange are her vehicles to inform, connect and advocate for change in these areas. Her focus has been to increase Open international, national and regional policy-making and practice in Higher Education in Europe. She has extensive experience in setting policy with a view to put this into action whilst connecting the specificities of policymaking with OS practitioners and vice versa to ensure effective OS implementation. Creating a more level-playing field in Europe to enable more equal opportunities to engage in Open Science and Open Education is also key to her work. By gaining an understanding of the needs of the research and OS support community through research activities and knowledge exchange, Vanessa Proudman will seek to ensure that an evidence-based approach is used to support the SSH community on its road to making open the default. 

Mark Huskisson is responsible for Business Development at the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), the developer and stewards of OJS, OMP, and OPS. PKP develops open-source software systems that manage the complete scholarly publishing workflow for journals, monographs, and preprints, and conducting scholarly communication research on questions of open access and open science.

Having worked in academic and scholarly publishing for thirty years, Mark Huskisson has developed and nurtured a collaborative and supportive network in commercial publishing houses, libraries, learned societies, and the rapidly growing scholarly communication technology ecosystem. Working at the nexus of the huge PKP community gives insight into the challenges and huge opportunities available to the open community if successful collaboration and sustainable pathways can be identified and secured. This new post offers a strategic benefit for learning and knowledge exchange between the OPERAS network and global OJS community.

During the debate, the candidates answered some questions from the community:

How do you see OPERAS in the open access landscape? (Pierre Mounier, OPERAS)

What is really unique about OPERAS is that it is a comprehensive and interconnected infrastructure community for the SSH, which does not exist in such a form for other subject domains. This is a great strength. OPERAS can and needs to inform the broader OA community and its decision-makers about the importance of the SSH domain so that we don’t dance to the tune of STEM and larger commercial publishers. There’s a lot of diversity and innovation in scholarly communications going on in this domain. And OPERAS can concretely demonstrate this to the whole community by presenting the work done by its various Special Interest Groups.

Vanessa Proudman

How do you see the European landscape? (Pierre Mounier, OPERAS)

There are a number of challenges across the continent and one is that there is not a single Europe in terms of access and ability to participate in academic publishing due to a number of barriers that the OPERAS Interest Groups are tackling. With large publishers dictating the narrative toward profit and focusing primarily on the wealthier, more powerful economies, the commercial STM sector has often defined models and development within the community despite the needs and demands – and often to the detriment – of SSH researchers and longform research outputs. So, to identify sustainable pathways in SSH across Europe, we need a more coordinated response to the OA challenge that is specific and tailored to research and publishing in the humanities and social sciences. And whilst there has been a huge development of open access and open science initiatives across the continent, they are often undertaken in national, regional, or commercial contexts. OPERAS offers a way to connect and coalesce the energy and drive of these initiatives, continually informed by the working groups (SIGs) to potential enormous effect.

Mark Huskisson

Regarding the multilingual dimensions of SSH, how might we defend and promote this dimension in OPERAS? (Olivier Bouin, RFIEA)

I have an international background and personally do not value any language over another. I believe that it is important to ensure that we share our knowledge in different languages particularly to embrace and respect the wide cultural and multilingual offering in Europe . In SPARC Europe, we created a tool that was translated into 16 languages by the community. Within OPERAS, perhaps we could create such multilingual resources, too.

Vanessa Proudman

What’s your vision about OA books in the global landscape? (Agata Morka, Sparc Europe)

I spent many years working with monographs in publishing and with leading libraries around the world and – as we transitioned from print to electronic media – the expereinces learned with Journals transitioning more easily and rapidly to digital influenced and determined the conversation around books. Even though the cases and contexts were not entirely analogous. And this has slowed the ability to foster and nurture a succesful and flourishing OA book ecosystem. One core challenge, which OPERAS members are solving and improving, is discovery and it is important for SSH in Europe and beyond that we share learning and solutions for the community and society as a whole. To bring a cohesive solution for different organizations that deal with OA books.

Mark Huskisson

The election counted with the participation of 23 organizations-member. Each organization voted once and anonymously. They could vote for both candidates, for one of them or for neither. With 83.33% and 54.17% of votes, respectively, Vanessa Proudman and Mark Huskisson became co-chairs of OPERAS’ Assembly of the Commons. Besides chairing the AoC during their 2-year mandate, the representatives shall also participate in the General Assembly once a year to represent the voice of the community. Otherwise, the General Assembly is composed of representatives of national councils and ministries of the European Countries and supporting members.

During the second part of the AoC, the leaders of the different Special Interest Groups presented the work done and some perspectives for the future.

  • Advocacy

Sona Arasteh (MWS), leader of this SIG, explained the meaning of advocacy, focusing on how it is a broader concept than lobbying. This SIG works as a kind of mediator, advocating for other SIGs. Currently, the group is advocating for the Tools and Platforms SIG.

  • Best Practices

The Best Practices SIG, led by Jadranka Stojanovski Zadar University), is currently working on a White Paper that will focus on the following topics: diamond journals, repositories altering scholarly publishing (preprints), research data in SSH, editorial and publishing policies, peer review, metadata quality, rights and licensing, research assessment, accessibility, and usability.

  • Common Standards and FAIR Principles

Iraklis Katsaloulisfocus (EKT), leader of this SIG along with Haris Georgiadis (EKT), explained that focusing on Common Standards & FAIR Principles is important as it offers a framework for collaboration, convergence, and integration towards enabling interoperability in SSH. Regarding future perspectives, this SIG intends to act as a bridge between the technical and procedural aspects of open science.

  • Multilingualism  

Delfim Leão (University of Coimbra), leader of the Multilingualism SIG, focused on some challenges regarding this topic: perceive multilingualism as a strong manifestation of bibliodiversity in SSH; avoid the risk of turning English, broadly used as a lingua franca, into lingua unica in terms of scientific and scholarly communication; enhance balanced multilingualism in innovative solutions. On the horizon, this SIG plans to achieve a full design and feasibility study to support the development of a translation service for OPERAS.

  • Open Access books Network

OABN is a new OPERAS SIG coordinated by Agata Morka (Sparc Europe), Lucy Barnes (Open Book Publishers), and Tom Mosterd (OAPEN/DOAB). The SIG advocates for open access book publishing, collates news, views, and developments specifically relevant to OA books, and connects a global community in the form of blogs, events, workshops, and other activities.

  • Open Access Business Models

 Graham Stones (Jisc) and Frank Manista (Jsic) lead this SIG that is currently working on focusing on collaborative models in OA book publishing. The previous White Paper (2021) presented an initial analysis and early observations of the study. The next step is to produce an in-depth analysis (a new version of the White Paper). Future questions to be explored include a better understanding of the publishers who do not take part in collaborative funding models and identifying the recommendations for OPERAS and other stakeholders.

  • Tools and Platforms

Formerly called Tools Research and Development, this SIG is coordinated by Céline Bartonat (CNRS) and Arnauld Gingold (CNRS). The SIG has focused on defining tools according to their functions, users, and nature. It deals with challenging issues such as a variety of functions and usage, the diversity of contexts and users, and its dynamic and chaotic environment.

Following this presentation, the participants joined breakout sessions for each of the Special Interest Groups.


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Competitive exposure and existential recognition: Visibility and legitimacy on academic social networking sites | Research Evaluation | Oxford Academic

Abstract:  Over the past decade, academic social networking sites, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, have become a common tool in academia for accessing publications and displaying metrics for research evaluation and self-monitoring. In this conceptual article, we discuss how these academic social networking sites, as devices of evaluation that build on both traditional values, objects, and metrics in academic publishing and on social media logics and algorithmic metrics, come to fulfil a need in the current academic (publishing) ecosystem. We approach this issue by identifying key affordances that arise in the interaction between platform and user. We then position these affordances in relation to potential needs of academics in today’s publishing landscape by drawing on Hafermalz’s metaphor of the ‘fear of exile’, which provides an alternative way of understanding the importance of visibility in the networked world, as a combination of competitive exposure and existential recognition. We end by considering the grounds on which the platforms may be attributed some level of legitimacy. This is done in order to understand the inherent contradiction between the broad use of the platforms and the fact that their integrity has been questioned repeatedly. We seek an answer to a legitimacy for the platforms in the fact that a pragmatic, mutual benefit exists between them and the research community; a benefit that is enhanced by the audit society influencing current academia.

 

Dear Scholars, Delete Your Account At Academia.Edu

“As privatized platforms like Academia.edu look to monetize scholarly writing even further, researchers, scientists and academics across the globe must now consider alternatives to proprietary companies that aim to profit from our writing and offer little transparency as to how our work will be used in the future.

In other words: It is time to delete your Academia.edu account….”

Perceptions regarding academic social networks for scholarly communications | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose This study aims to investigate the perceptions of academics regarding the use and usefulness of academic social networks (ASNs) in the scholarly communication practices of faculty members in Kuwaiti Universities. Design/methodology/approach The study was conducted through a survey. In total, 100 faculty members from the disciplines of business administration, humanities and social sciences from three universities in Kuwait filled in an online questionnaire. The statistical feature of the Web-based tool was used for data analysis. Findings The results show that most faculty members are aware of the importance of ASNs. They perceive that these networks are useful, as more publications have become available, it has become easier for scholars to connect with colleagues who share similar research interests. Research limitations/implications The study is descriptive and restricted to a specific country (Kuwait). It also only covered faculty members from three academic disciplines. Furthermore, the use of a questionnaire, while appropriate for descriptive research, restricted us from conducting probing designed to gain deeper insights regarding participants’ motivations and explanations for not realizing the potential of these networks. Practical implications Future research should expand the scope of this study to cover faculty members from other disciplines (e.g. science, engineering and medicine), while also including more universities from other countries in the Arabian Gulf region. Future research should also examine how academics’ information-finding practices are changing as a result of the availability of information sources through ASNs. Originality/value No similar study has been conducted previously in Kuwait. This study provided useful information regarding the use and perceptions of ASNs in the context of faculty members of Kuwaiti universities. This information is of interest to scholars, information providers and those who design such networks.

Role of social networking services for scientists in promoting scientific output on example of Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aims to answer the question of how the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences communicate the most recent scientific findings in the media space, i.e. what types of publications are shared, what activities do they exemplify (sharing information about their own publications, leading discussions, formulating opinions), what is the form of the scientific communication created by them (publication of reference lists’ descriptions, full papers, preprints and post prints) and what is the audience reception (number of downloads, displays, comments).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present the results of analysis conducted on the presence of the most recent (2017–2019) publications by the Polish representatives of the widely understood social communication and media sciences in three selected social networking services for scientists: ResearchGate, Google Scholar and Academia.edu. The analyses covered 100 selected representatives of the scientific environment (selected in interval sampling), assigned, according to the OECD classification “Field of Science”, in the “Ludzie nauki” (Men of Science) database to the “media and communication” discipline.

Findings

The conducted analyses prove a low usage level of the potential of three analysed services for scientists by the Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences. Although 60% of them feature profiles in at least one of the services, the rest are not present there at all. From the total of 113 identified scientists’ profiles, as little as 65 feature publications from 2017 to 2019. Small number of alternative metrics established in them, implies, in turn, that if these metrics were to play an important role in evaluation of the value and influence of scientific publications, then this evaluation for the researched Polish representatives of social communication and media sciences would be unfavourable.

Originality/value

The small presence of the Polish representatives of the communication and media sciences in three analysed services shows that these services may be – for the time being – only support the processes of managing own scientific output. Maybe this quite a pessimistic image of scientists’ activities in the analysed services is conditioned by a simple lack of the need to be present in electronic channels of scientific communication or the lack of trust to the analysed services, which, in turn, should be linked to their shortcomings and flaws. However, unequivocal confirmation of these hypotheses might be brought by explorations covering a larger group of scientists, and complemented with survey studies. Thus, this research may constitute merely a starting point for further explorations, including elaboration of good practices with respect to usage of social media by scientists.

Wiley Reaches Detente with Academic Social Network ResearchGate | Copyright and Technology

“Academic and scientific researchers have their own social networks. One of the biggest differences between these services and LinkedIn or Twitter is that researchers are interested in other researchers’ content as much as they are in social interactions. This has led academic social networks to find ways of getting users to post their papers and journal articles to the networks, in order to increase membership and traffic. The problem with this, of course, is that in many cases the researchers don’t own the copyrights–publishers do–and they don’t have permission to upload that content….

ResearchGate’s copyright hostilities with STM publishers began in 2017, when the publishers’ global trade association, the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (also known, confusingly, as STM), sent it a letter threatening to sue. At the same time, five publishers formed an organization called the Coalition for Responsible Sharing (CfRS) with the sole purpose of addressing copyright issues on ResearchGate….

 Wiley’s statement about the agreement is vague on details. But reading between the lines, it suggests that Wiley’s agreement goes somewhat beyond ResearchGate’s 2018 agreement with Springer Nature et al: ResearchGate has agreed to send its users detailed messages about the permissibility (or lack thereof) of content sharing, and to process Wiley’s takedown notices more aggressively and/or efficiently; while in return, ResearchGate will share some of its trove of content access data with Wiley and work to improve discoverability of content on the site. But the agreement does not call for ResearchGate to implement content recognition-based copyright filtering or facilitate incremental licensing revenue from authors….”

The Role and Utilization of International Academic Social Networks in Digital Publishing

Abstract : This paper focuses on the issue of academic social networks as means of changing the open access reality. Nowadays a free, direct and permanent access to digital scientific content is necessary for every student and researcher. The need for human communication has made social networks popular to the public, resulting in their rapid development, for example, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. The study is motivated by one main research question: What is their role and utilization in digital publishing? Through observational research and secondary quantitative and qualitative data analysis, the key objectives of the study are to highlight the role of international academic social networks in digital publishing and present the benefits and limitations of existing networks. In conclusion, the active use of academic social networks enables researchers to expand their knowledge but on the other hand limitations on digital publishing arise regarding to copyrights and licensing barriers.

 

The Role and Utilization of International Academic Social Networks in Digital Publishing

Abstract : This paper focuses on the issue of academic social networks as means of changing the open access reality. Nowadays a free, direct and permanent access to digital scientific content is necessary for every student and researcher. The need for human communication has made social networks popular to the public, resulting in their rapid development, for example, ResearchGate and Academia.edu. The study is motivated by one main research question: What is their role and utilization in digital publishing? Through observational research and secondary quantitative and qualitative data analysis, the key objectives of the study are to highlight the role of international academic social networks in digital publishing and present the benefits and limitations of existing networks. In conclusion, the active use of academic social networks enables researchers to expand their knowledge but on the other hand limitations on digital publishing arise regarding to copyrights and licensing barriers.

 

Whose Research is it Anyway? Academic Social Networks Versus Institutional Repositories

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Looking for ways to increase deposits into their institutional repository (IR), researchers at one institution started to mine academic social networks (ASNs) (namely, ResearchGate and Academia.edu) to discover which researchers might already be predisposed to providing open access to their work. METHODS Researchers compared the numbers of institutionally affiliated faculty members appearing in the ASNs to those appearing in their institutional repositories. They also looked at how these numbers compared to overall faculty numbers. RESULTS Faculty were much more likely to have deposited their work in an ASN than in the IR. However, the number of researchers who deposited in both the IR and at least one ASN exceeded that of those who deposited their research solely in an ASN. Unexpected findings occurred as well, such as numerous false or unverified accounts claiming affiliation with the institution. ResearchGate was found to be the favored ASN at this particular institution. DISCUSSION The results of this study confirm earlier studies’ findings indicating that those researchers who are willing to make their research open access are more disposed to do so over multiple channels, showing that those who already self-archive elsewhere are prime targets for inclusion in the IR. CONCLUSION Rather than seeing ASNs as a threat to IRs, they may be seen as a potential site of identifying likely contributors to the IR.

Whose Research is it Anyway? Academic Social Networks Versus Institutional Repositories

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Looking for ways to increase deposits into their institutional repository (IR), researchers at one institution started to mine academic social networks (ASNs) (namely, ResearchGate and Academia.edu) to discover which researchers might already be predisposed to providing open access to their work. METHODS Researchers compared the numbers of institutionally affiliated faculty members appearing in the ASNs to those appearing in their institutional repositories. They also looked at how these numbers compared to overall faculty numbers. RESULTS Faculty were much more likely to have deposited their work in an ASN than in the IR. However, the number of researchers who deposited in both the IR and at least one ASN exceeded that of those who deposited their research solely in an ASN. Unexpected findings occurred as well, such as numerous false or unverified accounts claiming affiliation with the institution. ResearchGate was found to be the favored ASN at this particular institution. DISCUSSION The results of this study confirm earlier studies’ findings indicating that those researchers who are willing to make their research open access are more disposed to do so over multiple channels, showing that those who already self-archive elsewhere are prime targets for inclusion in the IR. CONCLUSION Rather than seeing ASNs as a threat to IRs, they may be seen as a potential site of identifying likely contributors to the IR.

How to Build an Open Science Network in Your Community

“If you’re familiar with the open science movement, you may have also experienced the reality that the implementation of open practices hasn’t been driven by a wide-scale adoption at the institutional or organizational level. But rather, the opposite—through grassroots campaigns led by individual, early adopters….

Fortunately, there are many grassroots networks worldwide that have navigated these obstacles and have the wisdom to share. For the benefit of those seeking to grow open science networks, we tapped into this wisdom through a conversation with leaders in community-led open science initiatives.

 
This conversation – conducted via a webinar called “Local Grassroots Networks Engaging Open Science in Their Communities” – highlights the formation and sustainability efforts of several grassroots networks successfully fostering culture change in their local research communities.

 
The webinar features insights from COS Executive Director Brian Nosek, Anita Eerland of the Open Science Community Utrecht, Marcus Munafò and Laura Fortunato of the UK Reproducibility Network, and Aleksandar Bogdanoski of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences who collectively offer their experiences regarding:
 

How to gain the support of stakeholders through inclusivity and how to empower key actors to push for change
How to create capacity for training, education opportunities, and content libraries
How and where to seek funding and partnerships for initiatives
How to understand the regional obstacles that stand in the way of good science in your community and generate evidence to overcome these obstacles….”

A journal club to fix science

“We need all those who care about better research to stay invested, and this will not happen by telling the next generation of scientists to just sit back and hope. Early-career researchers do not need to wait passively for coveted improvements. We can create communities and push for bottom-up change.

ReproducibiliTea is one way to do this. Sam Parsons, Sophia Crüwell and I (all trainees) started this grass-roots journal club in early 2018, at the experimental-psychology department at the University of Oxford, UK. We hoped to promote a stronger open-science community and more prominent conversations about reproducibility. The initiative soon spread, and is now active at more than 27 universities in 8 countries….”

Open access availability of Catalonia research output: Case analysis of the CERCA institution, 2011-2015

Abstract:  The open access availability of publications by Catalonia’s CERCA research centres was analysed to determine the extent to which authors use open access journals, repositories, social networks and other websites to disseminate their research results. A sample of 3,730 journal articles published by authors from CERCA research centres between 2011 and 2015 and available on Web of Science (out of a total output of 44,423) was analysed to identify how many were available in open access, full-text format. The results revealed that 75,8% of the total (2,828 articles) had at least one version available in open access, but just 52% (1,940 articles) had at least one version available in either journals (whether pure or hybrid open access journals or those with embargo periods) or repositories, a finding that highlights the powerful role played by academic social networks in the sharp increase in open access availability. Of the 2,828 articles for which at least one open access version was found, a total of 9,868 copies were located. With respect to versions, the publisher’s final version, i.e. the type formatted for publication by journal publishers, was found in 75,3% of cases. The number of articles published in open access journals (567) was very close to the number of articles published in hybrid journals or journals with embargo periods (624). Only 40,4% of the articles in the sample were located in repositories, being the subject repositories the heaviest used. Fifty percent of the articles (1,881 publications) were posted on academic social networks, the most popular of which were ResearchGate and Academia. According to thematic areas, all six areas (science, life sciences, medical and health sciences, engineering and architecture and humanities) exceeded 70% of articles in open access.