In the open: TXTmob and Twitter · Commonplace

“For our first case study, we will look into the collaborative roots of Twitter in the open source code of TXTmob. We foreground this retrospective glance with an original account of its creation by TXTmob founder Tad Hirsch and an excerpt from Sasha Costanza-Chock’s Design Justice (The MIT Press, 2020), which you can purchase here, or read the OA edition here….” 

Does Tweeting Improve Citations? One-Year Results from the TSSMN Prospective Randomized Trial – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Background

The Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network (TSSMN) is a collaborative effort of leading journals in cardiothoracic surgery to highlight publications via social media. This study aims to evaluate the 1-year results of a prospective randomized social media trial to determine the effect of tweeting on subsequent citations and non-traditional bibliometrics.


A total of 112 representative original articles were randomized 1:1 to be tweeted via TSSMN or a control (non-tweeted) group. Measured endpoints included citations at 1-year compared to baseline, as well as article-level metrics (Altmetric score) and Twitter analytics. Independent predictors of citations were identified through univariable and multivariable regression analyses.


When compared to control articles, tweeted articles achieved significantly greater increase in Altmetric scores (Tweeted 9.4±5.8 vs. Non-Tweeted 1.0±1.8, p<0.001), Altmetric score percentiles relative to articles of similar age from each respective journal (Tweeted 76.0±9.1%ile vs. Non-Tweeted 13.8±22.7%ile, p<0.001), with greater change in citations at 1 year (Tweeted +3.1±2.4 vs. Non-Tweeted +0.7±1.3, p<0.001). Multivariable analysis showed that independent predictors of citations were randomization to tweeting (OR 9.50; 95%CI 3.30-27.35, p<0.001), Altmetric score (OR 1.32; 95%CI 1.15-1.50, p<0.001), open-access status (OR 1.56; 95%CI 1.21-1.78, p<0.001), and exposure to a larger number of Twitter followers as quantified by impressions (OR 1.30, 95%CI 1.10-1.49, p<0.001).


One-year follow-up of this TSSMN prospective randomized trial importantly demonstrates that tweeting results in significantly more article citations over time, highlighting the durable scholarly impact of social media activity.

10 tips for tweeting research | Nature Index

“A paper presented earlier this month at the CHEST Congress 2019 in Thailand by researchers from the University of Toronto in Canada found that when authors tweeted about their own work, they saw as much as a 3.5-fold increase in tweets about their studies that year from other people, compared with authors who did not tweet about their studies at all….

A recent study by Finch and his colleagues investigating social media responses to ornithology papers found that Altmetrics – which measure attention received by a paper, including how many times it’s viewed, downloaded, or mentioned on social media, in blogs, news articles, and elsewhere online – not only complement traditional measures of scholarly impact such as citations, but might also anticipate or even drive them….

According to a 2018 study by Isabelle Côté from Simon Fraser University in Canada and Emily Darling from the University of Toronto, more than half of the average scientist’s Twitter followers are other scientists….”


Using social media to promote academic research: Identifying the benefits of twitter for sharing academic work

Abstract:  To disseminate research, scholars once relied on university media services or journal press releases, but today any academic can turn to Twitter to share their published work with a broader audience. The possibility that scholars can push their research out, rather than hope that it is pulled in, holds the potential for scholars to draw wide attention to their research. In this manuscript, we examine whether there are systematic differences in the types of scholars who most benefit from this push model. Specifically, we investigate the extent to which there are gender differences in the dissemination of research via Twitter. We carry out our analyses by tracking tweet patterns for articles published in six journals across two fields (political science and communication), and we pair this Twitter data with demographic and educational data about the authors of the published articles, as well as article citation rates. We find considerable evidence that, overall, article citations are positively correlated with tweets about the article, and we find little evidence to suggest that author gender affects the transmission of research in this new media.


Preprints and Scholarly Communication: An… | F1000Research

Abstract:  Background: Since 2013, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of preprint servers. Little is known about the position of researchers, funders, research performing organisations and other stakeholders with respect to this fast-paced landscape. In this article, we explore the perceived benefits and challenges of preprint posting, alongside issues including infrastructure and financial sustainability. We also discuss the definition of a ‘preprint’ in different communities, and the impact this has on uptake.

Methods: This study is based on 38 semi-structured interviews of key stakeholders, based on a purposive heterogeneous sampling approach and undertaken between October 2018 and January 2019. Interviewees were primarily drawn from biology, chemistry and psychology, where use of preprints is growing. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis to identify trends. Interview questions were designed based on Innovation Diffusion Theory, which was also used to interpret our results.

Results: Participants were conscious of the rising prominence of preprints and cited early and fast dissemination as their most appealing feature. Preprints were also considered to enable broader access to scientific literature and increased opportunities for informal commenting. The main concerns related to the lack of quality assurance and the ‘Ingelfinger rule’. We identified trust as an essential factor in preprint posting, and highlight the enabling role of Twitter in showcasing preprints.

Conclusions: The preprints landscape is evolving fast, and disciplinary communities are at different stages in the innovation diffusion process. The landscape is characterised by experimentation, which leads to the conclusion that a one-size-fits-all approach to preprints is not feasible. Cooperation and active engagement between the stakeholders involved will play an important role going forward. We share questions for the further development of the preprints landscape, with the most important being whether preprint posting will develop as a publisher- or researcher-centric practice.

Accelerating scholarly communication: The transformative role of preprints

“The overall objective of this study was to explore the place of preprints in the research lifecycle from the points of view of researchers, research performing organisations, research funding organisations and preprint servers/ service providers. Our investigation covered:

` Core benefits and usage in the case of researchers, including incentives and disincentives

` Attitudes of research performing organisations (RPOs) and research funders

` Values, strategies and aims of service providers….”

[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.


Hashtag SciComm: How Social Media Platforms Are Shaping the Future of Science | PLOS Blogs Network

Established in 2006, Twitter is currently one of the most powerful social networking platforms for scientists across the world. In a 2014 survey by Nature, about 13% of scientists reported that they regularly use Twitter mainly to follow discussion on research-related issues [1]. I recently asked my Twitter followers to tell me the things they enjoy about ‘Science Twitter’ and/or the scientists they followed. After over a hundred responses primarily from scientists, the top two responses (> 35%) related to how scientists showcase their human side – their passion and struggles – and the sense of community established as a result. A recent study found that most followers of scientists on Twitter are scientists themselves [2], which is reflected in the responses I obtained. While this is great for certain aspects of science communication, it limits the power of outreaching to a wider community. However, the same study showed that the types of followers became more diverse as the number of followers increased beyond a certain threshold. While not every scientist has the interest or resources to achieve thousands of followers, there are certain ways in which scientists can improve their presence and experience in social media. Here are my top five tips on how to do this: …”

Can Twitter, Facebook, and Other Social Media Drive Downloads, Citations? – The Scholarly Kitchen

Even before the development of the Internet and social media tools, the association between media promotion and article performance was well documented.1234 What was not fully understood, however, was the underlying cause of this association. Editors and journalists tend to promote what they view as the most important and novel papers. As a result, it is difficult to disambiguate selection effects from dissemination and amplification effects, especially from uncontrolled observational studies. Likely, multiple effects operate in concert. If we want to isolate these effects, we need to rely on a more rigorous methodology–the randomized controlled trial….

While there are many studies exploring the relationships among indicators, most are methodologically weak and may suffer from confounding causes and effects. More rigorous trials, summarized above, report little, if any, effect between social media interventions and readership. Nevertheless, whereas social medical campaigns may have limited effect within the research and clinical community, they may provide other ancillary benefits to a journal, such as providing outreach to healthcare professionals, communicating directly with the general public, and increasing brand recognition.20 …”