How much research shared on Facebook is hidden from public view? A comparison of public and private online activity around PLOS ONE papers

Authors : Asura Enkhbayar, Stefanie Haustein, Germana Barata, Juan Pablo Alperin

Despite its undisputed position as the biggest social media platform, Facebook has never entered the main stage of altmetrics research. In this study, we argue that the lack of attention by altmetrics researchers is not due to a lack of relevant activity on the platform, but because of the challenges in collecting Facebook data have been limited to activity that takes place in a select group of public pages and groups.

We present a new method of collecting shares, reactions, and comments across the platform-including private timelines-and use it to gather data for all articles published between 2015 to 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE.

We compare the gathered data with altmetrics collected and aggregated by Altmetric. The results show that 58.7% of papers shared on the platform happen outside of public view and that, when collecting all shares, the volume of activity approximates patterns of engagement previously only observed for Twitter.

Both results suggest that the role and impact of Facebook as a medium for science and scholarly communication has been underestimated. Furthermore, they emphasise the importance of openness and transparency around the collection and aggregation of altmetrics.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1909.01476

Publication in a medical student journal predicts short- and long-term academic success: a matched-cohort study

Authors : Ibrahim S. Al-Busaidi, Cameron I. Wells, Tim J. Wilkinson

Background

Medical student journals play a critical role in promoting academic research and publishing amongst medical students, but their impact on students’ future academic achievements has not been examined.

We aimed to evaluate the short- and long-term effects of publication in the New Zealand Medical Student Journal (NZMSJ) through examining rates of post-graduation publication, completion of higher academic degrees, and pursuing an academic career.

Methods

Student-authored original research publications in the NZMSJ during the period 2004–2011 were retrospectively identified. Gender-, university- and graduation year-matched controls were identified from publicly available databases in a 2:1 ratio (two controls for each student authors).

Date of graduation, current clinical scope of practice, completion of higher academic degrees, and attainment of an academic position for both groups were obtained from Google searches, New Zealand graduate databases, online lists of registered doctors in New Zealand and Australia, and author affiliation information from published articles.

Pre- and post-graduation PubMed®-indexed publications were identified using standardised search criteria.

Results

Fifty publications authored by 49 unique students were identified. The median follow-up period after graduation was 7.0 years (range 2–12 years). Compared with controls, studentauthors were significantly more likely to publish in PubMed®-indexed journals (OR 3.09, p = 0.001), obtain a PhD (OR 9.21, p = 0.004) or any higher degree (OR 2.63, p = 0.007), and attain academic positions (OR 2.90, p = 0.047) following graduation.

Conclusion

Publication in a medical student journal is associated with future academic achievement and contributes to develop a clinical academic workforce. Future work should aim to explore motivators and barriers associated with these findings.

URL : Publication in a medical student journal predicts short- and long-term academic success: a matched-cohort study

 

Might Europe one day again be a global scientific powerhouse? Analysis of ERC publications suggests it will not be possible without changes in research policy

Authors : Alonso Rodríguez-Navarro, Ricardo Brito

Numerous EU documents praise the excellence of EU research without empirical evidence and against academic studies. We investigated research performance in two fields of high socioeconomic importance, advanced technology and basic medical research, in two sets of European countries, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain (GFIS), and the UK, the Netherlands, and Switzerland (UKNCH). Despite historical and geographical proximity, research performance in GFIS is much lower than in UKNCH, and well below the world average.

Funding from the European Research Council (ERC) greatly improves performance both in GFIS and UKNCH, but ERC-GFIS publications are less cited than ERC-UKNCH publications.

We conclude that research performance in GFIS and in other EU countries is intrinsically low even when it is generously funded. The technological and economic future of the EU depends on improving research, which requires structural changes in research policy within the EU, and in most EU countries.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.08975

The Economic Impacts of Open Science: A Rapid Evidence Assessment

Author : Michael J. Fell

A common motivation for increasing open access to research findings and data is the potential to create economic benefits—but evidence is patchy and diverse. This study systematically reviewed the evidence on what kinds of economic impacts (positive and negative) open science can have, how these comes about, and how benefits could be maximized.

Use of open science outputs often leaves no obvious trace, so most evidence of impacts is based on interviews, surveys, inference based on existing costs, and modelling approaches.

There is indicative evidence that open access to findings/data can lead to savings in access costs, labour costs and transaction costs. There are examples of open science enabling new products, services, companies, research and collaborations. Modelling studies suggest higher returns to R&D if open access permits greater accessibility and efficiency of use of findings. Barriers include lack of skills capacity in search, interpretation and text mining, and lack of clarity around where benefits accrue.

There are also contextual considerations around who benefits most from open science (e.g., sectors, small vs. larger companies, types of dataset). Recommendations captured in the review include more research, monitoring and evaluation (including developing metrics), promoting benefits, capacity building and making outputs more audience-friendly.

URL : The Economic Impacts of Open Science: A Rapid Evidence Assessment

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7030046

Do Download Reports Reliably Measure Journal Usage? Trusting the Fox to Count Your Hens?

Authors : Alex Wood-Doughty, Ted Bergstrom, Douglas G. Steigerwald

Download rates of academic journals have joined citation counts as commonly used indicators of the value of journal subscriptions. While citations reflect worldwide influence, the value of a journal subscription to a single library is more reliably measured by the rate at which it is downloaded by local users.

If reported download rates accurately measure local usage, there is a strong case for using them to compare the cost-effectiveness of journal subscriptions. We examine data for nearly 8,000 journals downloaded at the ten universities in the University of California system during a period of six years.

We find that controlling for number of articles, publisher, and year of download, the ratio of downloads to citations differs substantially among academic disciplines.

After adding academic disciplines to the control variables, there remain substantial “publisher effects”, with some publishers reporting significantly more downloads than would be predicted by the characteristics of their journals.

These cross-publisher differences suggest that the currently available download statistics, which are supplied by publishers, are not sufficiently reliable to allow libraries to make subscription decisions based on price and reported downloads, at least without making an adjustment for publisher effects in download reports.

URL : Do Download Reports Reliably Measure Journal Usage? Trusting the Fox to Count Your Hens?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.80.5.694

Share or perish: Social media and the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Authors : Paul McNamara, Kim Usher

The impact of published research is sometimes measured by the number of citations an individual article accumulates. However, the time from publication to citation can be extensive. Years may pass before authors are able to measure the impact of their publication. Social media provides individuals and organizations a powerful medium with which to share information.

The power of social media is sometimes harnessed to share scholarly works, especially journal article citations and quotes. A non‐traditional bibliometric is required to understand the impact social media has on disseminating scholarly works/research.

The International Journal of Mental Health Nursing (IJMHN) appointed a social media editor as of 1 January 2017 to implement a strategy to increase the impact and reach of the journal’s articles.

To measure the impact of the IJMHN social media strategy, quantitative data for the eighteen months prior to the social media editor start date, and the eighteen months after that date (i.e.: from 01 July 2015 to 30 June 2018) were acquired and analysed.

Quantitative evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of one journal’s social media strategy in increasing the reach and readership of the articles it publishes.

This information may be of interest to those considering where to publish their research, those wanting to amplify the reach of their research, those who fund research, and journal editors and boards.

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12600

The citation advantage of linking publications to research data

Authors : Giovanni Colavizza, Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Isla Staden, Kirstie Whitaker, Barbara McGillivray

Efforts to make research results open and reproducible are increasingly reflected by journal policies encouraging or mandating authors to provide data availability statements.

As a consequence of this, there has been a strong uptake of data availability statements in recent literature. Nevertheless, it is still unclear what proportion of these statements actually contain well-formed links to data, for example via a URL or permanent identifier, and if there is an added value in providing them.

We consider 531,889 journal articles published by PLOS and BMC which are part of the PubMed Open Access collection, categorize their data availability statements according to their content and analyze the citation advantage of different statement categories via regression.

We find that, following mandated publisher policies, data availability statements have become common by now, yet statements containing a link to a repository are still just a fraction of the total.

We also find that articles with these statements, in particular, can have up to 25.36% higher citation impact on average: an encouraging result for all publishers and authors who make the effort of sharing their data. All our data and code are made available in order to reproduce and extend our results.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.02565