Fast and Furious (at Publishers): The Motivations behind Crowdsourced Research Sharing

Authors : Carolyn Caffrey Gardner, Gabriel J. Gardner

Crowdsourced research sharing takes place across social media platforms including Twitter hashtags such as #icanhazpdf, Reddit Scholar, and Facebook.

This study surveys users of these peer-to-peer exchanges on demographic information, frequency of use, and their motivations in both providing and obtaining scholarly information on these platforms. Respondents also provided their perspectives on the database terms of service and/or copyright violations in these exchanges.

Findings indicate that the motivations of this community are utilitarian or ideological in nature, similar to other peer-to-peer file sharing online. Implications for library services including instruction, outreach, and interlibrary loan are discussed.

URL : Fast and Furious (at Publishers): The Motivations behind Crowdsourced Research Sharing


What do computer scientists tweet? Analyzing the link-sharing practice on Twitter

Authors : Marco Schmitt, Robert Jäschke

Twitter communication has permeated every sphere of society. To highlight and share small pieces of information with possibly vast audiences or small circles of the interested has some value in almost any aspect of social life.

But what is the value exactly for a scientific field? We perform a comprehensive study of computer scientists using Twitter and their tweeting behavior concerning the sharing of web links.

Discerning the domains, hosts and individual web pages being tweeted and the differences between computer scientists and a Twitter sample enables us to look in depth at the Twitter-based information sharing practices of a scientific community.

Additionally, we aim at providing a deeper understanding of the role and impact of altmetrics in computer science and give a glance at the publications mentioned on Twitter that are most relevant for the computer science community.

Our results show a link sharing culture that concentrates more heavily on public and professional quality information than the Twitter sample does. The results also show a broad variety in linked sources and especially in linked publications with some publications clearly related to community-specific interests of computer scientists, while others with a strong relation to attention mechanisms in social media.

This refers to the observation that Twitter is a hybrid form of social media between an information service and a social network service.

Overall the computer scientists’ style of usage seems to be more on the information-oriented side and to some degree also on professional usage. Therefore, altmetrics are of considerable use in analyzing computer science.

URL : What do computer scientists tweet? Analyzing the link-sharing practice on Twitter


Networks of digital humanities scholars: The informational and social uses and gratifications of Twitter

Authors : Anabel Quan-Haase, Kim Martin, Lori McCay-Peet

Big Data research is currently split on whether and to what extent Twitter can be characterized as an informational or social network. We contribute to this line of inquiry through an investigation of digital humanities (DH) scholars’ uses and gratifications of Twitter.

We conducted a thematic analysis of 25 semi-structured interview transcripts to learn about these scholars’ professional use of Twitter.

Our findings show that Twitter is considered a critical tool for informal communication within DH invisible colleges, functioning at varying levels as both an information network (learning to ‘Twitter’ and maintaining awareness) and a social network (imagining audiences and engaging other digital humanists).

We find that Twitter follow relationships reflect common academic interests and are closely tied to scholars’ pre-existing social ties and conference or event co-attendance. The concept of the invisible college continues to be relevant but requires revisiting.

The invisible college formed on Twitter is messy, consisting of overlapping social contexts (professional, personal and public), scholars with different habits of engagement, and both formal and informal ties.

Our research illustrates the value of using multiple methods to explore the complex questions arising from Big Data studies and points toward future research that could implement Big Data techniques on a small scale, focusing on subtopics or emerging fields, to expose the nature of scholars’ invisible colleges made visible on Twitter.



Are there birds in the library? The extent of Twitter adoption and use by Canadian academic libraries

« Twitter, only eight years old, has emerged as an ever-present component of our everyday, online lives. This phenomenon is apparent in academic libraries as well, with a growing body of published reports on how libraries use Twitter, and other social networking tools, to engage with users. The extent of this adoption by libraries, however, is assumed rather than known, leading to the question: is it really a phenomenon? How many academic libraries are actually currently tweeting? In this paper, we report an investigation of Twitter adoption by Canadian academic libraries. We found that less than half of the main libraries currently tweet, with adoption peaking in 2009. While tweeting is not as ubiquitous as may be assumed and recent adoption has declined, findings do show that tweeting remains consistent and active for those libraries with established Twitter accounts. »


Academics and their online networks: Exploring the role of academic social networking sites

« The rapid rise in popularity of online social networking has been followed by a slew of services aimed at an academic audience. This project sought to explore network structure in these sites, and to explore trends in network structure by surveying participants about their use of sites and motivations for making connections. Social network analysis revealed that discipline was influential in defining community structure, while academic seniority was linked to the position of nodes within the network. The survey revealed a contradiction between academics use of the sites and their position within the networks the sites foster. Junior academics were found to be more active users of the sites, agreeing to a greater extent with the perceived benefits, yet having fewer connections and occupying a more peripheral position in the network. »


L’offre de réseaux socio numériques pour les scientifiques : services et stratégies d’acteurs

Auteur/Author : Emma Bester

Aux côtés des services généralistes et professionnels de sites de réseaux socio numériques (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn), se développe une offre pléthorique dédiée spécifiquement aux chercheurs (, ResearchGate, etc.). Nous nous interrogeons dans cet article sur la valeur ajoutée de ces services pour la communication scientifique.

L’analyse fonctionnelle portée sur un échantillon de dix sites de réseaux socio numériques dédiés aux scientifiques permet dans un premier temps d’en distinguer les caractéristiques structurelles et les caractéristiques spécifiques. La discussion aborde dans un second temps la logique d’acteurs à l’œuvre dans l’économie numérique pour l’information scientifique, en distinguant les intérêts propres des porteurs des offres des enjeux auxquels la communauté scientifique s’affronte aujourd’hui, en regard notamment du mouvement pour le libre accès.


Tweets & science

Le temps passé sur les réseaux sociaux augmente régulièrement (en 2012, 18% du temps online). Si le temps moyen des visites sur Twitter est encore faible (21min/mois) au regard de facebook (6, 75h/mois) ou plus généralement du web, il faut observer une croissance de l’ordre de 300% de l’usage de Twitter et des pratiques croisées de plus en plus fréquentes avec des médias plus anciens comme la télévision.

Avec ces pratiques  » généralistes « , des pratiques professionnelles se dessinent…. C’est dans ce cadre des pratiques croisées généralistes et professionnelles que nous observons l’usage de Twitter dans le contexte de la publication scientifique.