Measuring federal social media interaction rates—and how UCSF fares

I love Expert Labs‘ new Federal Social Media Index, a unified dashboard of Twitter interaction stats for 125 different federal agencies. The effort itself is quite impressive, but the stats are even better.

Most agencies have a large number of followers, but a minuscule number of people actually responding to queries. If the point of social media is to be social, agencies are doing a fairly poor job.

How are UCSF Twitter accounts faring? I tried searching Twitter for replies to queries from several UCSF accounts from the morning of April 10 to the morning of April 14 (this excludes retweets and mentions).

The results?

  • @ucsf: 0 replies
  • @ctsiatucsf: 1 reply (a thank you from the UCSF library)
  • @gladstonelabs: 1 reply (a thank you from Bay Area Malaria)
  • @ucsf_library: 0 replies
  • @ucsfdentistry: 0 replies
  • @ucsfmedicine: 0 replies

For better or for worse, we’re doing about as well as the federal government.

Read more:

AMIA 2012 Joint Summit: a report back in tweets

Eric, Leslie, and I from CTSI at UCSF’s Virtual Home team spent the past three days at the AMIA 2012 Joint Summit in San Francisco.

Here’s some of what was happening on the researcher networking, social networking, knowledge representation fronts, and public search front, via Twitter:

Other tweets that caught my eye from the rest of the conference:

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.

“From Twitter To Tenure”: MD Shares How Twitter Can Be A Valuable Tool For Academics

Credit: Jason Archer, http://www.academictechnology.org

There is still considerable resistance to embracing social media tools for academic purposes, but if you are reading this blog post on FutureDocs by Vineet Arora, MD,  you are probably willing to consider their positive effects. And the list of academic tweeters is growing.

Vineet shares the various ways social media has impacted her academic career including finding grant opportunities, disseminating research results, and being found as an expert for media interviews and lectures. Here is her list:

  • Media interviews – I was interviewed by Dr Pauline Chen through the New York Times who located me through – you guessed it Twitter!  She actually approached me for the interview by direct messaging me through Twitter.  She was following me and noticed my interests in handoffs on my Google profile which is linked to my Twitter account.  She was also very encouraging when I started the blog which was exciting!
  • Workshop presentations– I presented a workshop on social media in medical education (#SMIME as we like to call it), at 2 major medical meetings with 3 others (including @MotherInMed who encouraged me to start a blog and also is my copresenter at SGIM).  The idea was borne on Twitter…and the first time I actually met one of the workshop presenters (who I knew on Twitter) was at the workshop.
  • Acquired new skills  – My workshop co-presenter who I only knew through Twitter ended up being Carrie Saarinen, an instructional technologist (a very cool job and every school needs one!).  She is an amazing resource and taught me how to do a wiki.  After my period of ‘lurking’, I started my own ‘course’ wiki  dedicated to helping students do research and scholarly work which we are launching in a week.
  • Lecture invitations – Several of my lecture invitations come through social media.  Most notably, I was invited to speak for an AMSA webinar on handoffs and also speak to the Committee of Interns and Residents on teaching trainees about cost conscious medicine.  Both invitations started with a reference to finding me through Twitter or the blog.
  • Committee invitations – I am now on the SGIM communications task force as a result of my interest in social media.  Our most recent effort was a piece about‘tweeting the meeting’ with @medrants and an older piece focused on the top Twitter Myths and Tips.
  • Grant opportunities – I recently submitted a grant with an organization that I learned of on Twitter – Initially, I had contacted Neel Shah from Costs of Careasking him if they had a curriculum on healthcare costs.  They did not, but were interested in writing a grant to develop a curriculum so they brought my team on board and we submitted together (fingers crossed).
  • Dissemination – One of the defining features of scholarship (the currency of promotion in academic medical centers) is that it has to be shared.   Well, social media is one of the most powerful ways to share information.   In a recent example, we entered a social media contest media video contest on the media sharing site Slideshare.  Using social media, we were able to obtain the most number of ‘shares’ on Facebook on Twitter which led to the most number of views and ultimately won ‘Best Professional Video.’  To date, this video, has received over 13,000 views, which I was able to highlight as a form of ‘dissemination’ in a recent meeting with our Chairman about medical education scholarship.    While digital scholarship is still under investigation with vocal critics and enthusiasticproponents debating the value of digital scholarship in academia, digital scholarship does appear to have a place for spreading nontraditional media that cannot be shared via peer review.

Further reading:

Social Media Week, February 2012

Organizers host the five-day conference (February 13-17, 2012) simultaneously in London, Berlin, New York, Toronto, San Francisco and São Paulo. 

The event will explore the impact that social media has on culture, business communications and society at large.

Among the topics:

  • Mining Social Media for Consumer Insight
  • Dashboards and Metrics
  • Topical Influencers: Who Are They and How Do We Reach Them?
  • Creating Social Utilities That People Will Actually Use

More at http://socialmediaweek.org/

Measuring total scholarly impact, beyond the cite

The new Total-Impact tool takes a series of references to someone’s work (e.g. publications, Slideshare slides, URLs, Github or Mendeley accounts) and generates reports based on a wide variety of impact metrics. It starts with traditional citations, but adds in bookmarks (from Mendeley, Delicious, etc.), mentions (on Twitter, Facebook), downloads (from publishers’ websites).

Check out some examples:

It’s fun seeing the various metrics. Chad, for example, has work cited on Wikipedia, and read on Mendeley:

This 2011 entry from Clay’s report doesn’t appear to have any cites from PubMed, but shows interest and activity from a variety of sources, including the PLoS website, CrossRef, CiteYouLike, and Mendeley. Some of his papers have even been discussed on Facebook!

Read more:

How social proof works

We trust products and ideas that other people trust. Aileen Lee breaks down how social proof works in a guest piece on TechCrunch, breaking down the following categories:

Expert social proof

doctors for medicare

Celebrity social proof

Yao Ming

Individual user feedback social proof

Critical reviews (365:009)

Aggregate popularity social proof

Too many served

Friends’ recommendation social proof

Facebook hopes social proof with motivate users to clean their database

Read more: