Crowdsourcing the Analysis and Impact of Scholarly Tweets

“Twitter is one of the fastest tools to discover newly published scholarly papers”, Martin Fenner wrote in one of his earlier posts. Now Fenner and Euan Adie finished the first phase of an interesting new experiment, the CrowdoMeter project.

In the last 2 months, they used crowdsourcing to analyze the semantic content of almost 500 tweets linking to scholarly papers (953 classifications by 105 users for 467 tweets). Their preliminary results show: 

  • 3 predominant subject areas: Medicine and Health, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences and Economics.
  • Most tweets (88%) discussed the papers, 10% were in agreement, 3% disagreed.
  • Most papers are not tweeted by their authors or publishers

In his recent guest post on Impact of Social Sciences, Fenner makes the argument that “social media, and Twitter in particular, provide almost instant, relevant recommendations as opposed to traditional citations.

A few years from now the ‘personalized journal’ will have replaced the traditional journal as the primary means to discover new scholarly papers with impact to our work.

What is still missing are better tools that integrate social media with scholarly content, in particular personalized recommendations based on the content you are interested in (your Mendeley or CiteULike library are a good approximation) and the people you follow on Twitter and other social media.

Fenner’s view is also based on Gunther Eysenbach’s study from 2011 that showed “highly tweeted papers were more likely to become highly cited (but the numbers were to small for any firm conclusions; 12 out of 286 papers were highly tweeted)”.

Fenner and Adie are using altmetric.com to track the scholarly impact of your research. Other tools – some of which we wrote about – include  ReaderMeterTotal ImpactPLoS Article-Level Metrics, and ScienceCard.

About Katja Reuter
Katja Reuter, PhD, has worked as a scientist, editor and science writer. Primarily, she is interested in two questions: How digital media and communications are changing science, and how they can be used to advance academia, support researchers, and improve health. In 2009, she joined the Virtual Home program at the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where she led online communications and social media. Since Feb 2013, she is Director of Digital Strategy and the eHome program at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

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