A new paper in the ejournal Cybermetrics

Isidro F. Aguillo isidro.aguillo at CCHS.CSIC.ES
Wed Dec 18 06:19:20 EST 2013

Tweeting Links to Academic Articles
Mike Thelwall, Andrew Tsou, Scott Weingart, Kim Holmberg, Stefanie Haustein

Cybermetrics, 17(2013), Issue 1, Paper 1


Academic articles are now frequently tweeted and so Twitter seems to be 
a useful tool for scholars to use to help keep up with publications and 
discussions in their fields. Perhaps as a result of this, tweet counts 
are increasingly used by digital libraries and journal websites as 
indicators of an article’s interest or impact. Nevertheless, it is not 
known whether tweets are typically positive, neutral or critical, or how 
articles are normally tweeted. These are problems for those wishing to 
tweet articles effectively and for those wishing to know whether tweet 
counts in digital libraries should be taken seriously. In response, a 
pilot study content analysis was conducted of 270 tweets linking to 
articles in four journals, four digital libraries and two DOI URLs, 
collected over a period of eight months in 2012. The vast majority of 
the tweets echoed an article title (42%) or a brief summary (41%). One 
reason for summarising an article seemed to be to translate it for a 
general audience. Few tweets explicitly praised an article and none were 
critical. Most tweets did not directly refer to the article author, but 
some did and others were clearly self-citations. In summary, tweets 
containing links to scholarly articles generally provide little more 
than publicity, and so whilst tweet counts may provide evidence of the 
popularity of an article, the contents of the tweets themselves are 
unlikely to give deep insights into scientists' reactions to 
publications, except perhaps in special cases.


Isidro F. Aguillo, HonDr.
The Cybermetrics Lab, IPP-CSIC
Grupo Scimago
Madrid. SPAIN

isidro.aguillo at csic.es
ORCID: 0000-0001-8927-4873
ResearcherID: A-7280-2008
Scholar Citations: SaCSbeoAAAAJ
Twitter: @isidroaguillo
Rankings Web: webometrics.info


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