Authors : Mojisola Erdt, Htet Htet Aung, Ashley Sara Aw, Charlie Rapple, Yin-Leng Theng
With the growth of scholarly collaboration networks and social communication platforms, members of the scholarly community are experimenting with their approach to disseminating research outputs, in an effort to increase their audience and outreach.
However, from a researcher’s point of view, it is difficult to determine whether efforts to make work more visible are worthwhile (in terms of the association with publication metrics) and within that, difficult to assess which platform or network is most effective for sharing work and connecting to a wider audience.
We undertook a case study of Kudos (https://www.growkudos.com), a web-based service that claims to help researchers increase the outreach of their publications, to examine the most effective tools for sharing publications online, and to investigate which actions are associated with improved metrics.
We extracted a dataset from Kudos of 830,565 unique publications claimed by authors, for which 20,775 had actions taken to explain or share via Kudos, and for 4,867 of these full text download data from publishers was available.
Findings show that researchers are most likely to share their work on Facebook, but links shared on Twitter are more likely to be clicked on. A Mann-Whitney U test revealed that a treatment group (publications having actions in Kudos) had a significantly higher median average of 149 full text downloads (23.1% more) per publication as compared to a control group (having no actions in Kudos) with a median average of 121 full text downloads per publication.
These findings suggest that performing actions on publications, such as sharing, explaining, or enriching, could help to increase the number of full text downloads of a publication.