Does twittering promote the impact of your research?

Je suis désormais sur Twitter!! by Celtikipooh (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Je suis désormais sur Twitter!! by Celtikipooh
(CC BY-ND 2.0)

In a recent article two researchers from the Swedish school of Library and Information Science (University of Borås) report the results of an investigation on how academic texts are discussed on Twitter (Nelhans & Lorentzen, 2016).

Nelhans, G., & Lorentzen, D. G. (2016). Twitter conversation patterns related to research papers. Information Research, 21(2).

While previous research has studied the correlation between tweets and citations this study goes a step further and the authors analyze the conversations.

The data was tweets that contained a digital object identifier (DOI) and where the articles could be found in Web of Science.

Nelhans and Lorentzen found that natural science research and articles from open access journals was most common among the tweets found with these criteria. The tweets were used for self-promotion but also as conversation starters. The journals and the publication year for the mentioned articles are presented in the article as are the topics and types of conversation, for example quotes, comments, affirmation or argumentation. In the qualitative analysis the authors notice that material attainable to the public are more represented than would be expected compared to selections made on academic citations. Another interesting finding is that inter- and multidisciplinary research stand out.

Read more:

Is tweeting part of the publication process? Does it promote your research? Get the view from publisher and researcher (together with a twitter success story).

Tweet your research: A how-to guide

Nelhans and Lorentzen note that the dominance by the natural sciences they find are contradicted by the findings of e.g. Costas, Zahedi, and Wouters (2015) where biomedical and health sciences dominated.

Costas, R., Zahedi, Z., & Wouters, P. (2015). Do “altmetrics” correlate with citations? Extensive comparison of altmetric indicators with citations from a multidisciplinary perspective. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 66(10), 2003–2019. http://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23309

And what about Humanities? “Humanities research is a different animal” as Stacy Konkiel states in

Altmetrics for the humanities: Disciplines, output types, and discovery