How and why scholars cite on Twitter

Scholars are increasingly using the microblogging service Twitter as a communication platform. Since citing is a central practice of scholarly communication, we investigated whether and how scholars cite on Twitter.

We conducted interviews and harvested 46,515 tweets from a sample of 28 scholars and found that they do cite on Twitter, though often indirectly. Twitter citations are part of a fast-moving conversation that participants believe reflects scholarly impact. Twitter citation metrics could augment traditional citation analysis, supporting a “scientometrics 2.0”.