The financial market of ideas: A theory of academic social media – Alessandro Delfanti, 2020

Abstract:  Millions of scholars use academic social media to share their work and construct themselves as legitimate and productive workers. An analysis of Academia.edu updates ideas about science as a ‘marketplace of ideas’. Scholarly communication via social media is best conceptualized as a ‘financial market of ideas’ through which academic value is assigned to publications and researchers. Academic social media allow for the inclusion of scholarly objects such as preprint articles, which exceed traditional accounting systems in scholarly communication. Their functioning is based on a valorization of derived qualities, as their algorithms analyze social interactions on the platform rather than the content of scholarship. They are also oriented toward the future in their use of data analytics to predict research outcomes.