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.


Models of Research and the Dissemination of Research Results: the Influences of E-Science, Open Access and Social Networking

Authors : Rae A. Earnshaw, Mohan de Silva, Peter S. Excell

In contrast with practice in recent times past, computational and data intensive processes are increasingly driving collaborative research in science and technology.

Large amounts of data are being generated in experiments or simulations and these require real-time, or near real-time, analysis and visualisation. The results of these evaluations need to be validated and then published quickly and openly in order to facilitate the overall progress of research on a national and international basis.

Research is increasingly undertaken in large teams and is also increasingly interdisciplinary as many of the major research challenges lie at the boundaries between existing disciplines.

The move to open access for peer reviewed publications is rapidly becoming a required option in the sector. At the same time, communication and dissemination procedures are also utilising non-traditional forms facilitated by burgeoning developments in social networking.

It is proposed that these elements, when combined, constitute a paradigm shift in the model of research and the dissemination of research results.

URL : Models of Research and the Dissemination of Research Results: the Influences of E-Science, Open Access and Social Networking

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Use of Twitter in Spanish Communication Journals

Authors : Victoria Tur-Viñes, Jesús Segarra-Saavedra, Tatiana Hidalgo-Marí

This is an exploratory study on the Twitter profiles managed by 30 Spanish Communication journals. The aim is to analyse the profile management, to identify the features of the most interactive content, and to propose effective practices motivating strategic management.

The management variables considered were the following: the launch date of the journal and launch of the Twitter profile; published content and frequency of publication; number of publications in 2016; number of Twitter followers.

The identification of the features of the most interactive tweets was performed in a 150-unit sample, taking into consideration the following factors: the number of retweets, likes, type of content (motivation), components forming the content, the date and time of publication, and origin of the publication (internal or unrelated).

The results reveal notable practices and certain deficiencies in the strategic management of social profiles. Twitter represents an innovative opportunity in scientific dissemination, and it establishes an inalienable strategy for creating and maintaining the brand-journal while retaining the need to strengthen followers’ reciprocity. Other potential uses are suggested.

URL : Use of Twitter in Spanish Communication Journals

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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