Scientific discourse on YouTube: Motivations for citing research in comments

Authors : Sören Striewski, Olga Zagovora, Isabella Peters

YouTube is a valuable source of user-generated content on a wide range of topics, and it encourages user participation through the use of a comment system. Video content is increasingly addressing scientific topics, and there is evidence that both academics and consumers use video descriptions and video comments to refer to academic research and scientific publications.

Because commenting is a discursive behavior, this study will provide insights on why individuals post links to research publications in comments. For this, a qualitative content analysis and iterative coding approach were applied. Furthermore, the reasons for mentioning academic publications in comments were contrasted with the reasons for citing in scholarly works and with reasons for commenting on YouTube.

We discovered that the primary motives for sharing research links were (1) providing more insights into the topic and (2) challenging information offered by other commentators.

Arxiv :

Between Flat-Earthers and Fitness Coaches: Who is Citing Scientific Publications in YouTube Video Descriptions?

Authors : Olga Zagovora, Katrin Weller

In this study, we undertake an extensive analysis of YouTube channels that reference research publications in their video descriptions, offering a unique insight into the intersection of digital media and academia. Our investigation focuses on three principal aspects: the background of YouTube channel owners, their thematic focus, and the nature of their operational dynamics, specifically addressing whether they work individually or in groups. Our results highlight a strong emphasis on content related to science and engineering, as well as health, particularly in channels managed by individual researchers and academic institutions.

However, there is a notable variation in the popularity of these channels, with professional YouTubers and commercial media entities often outperforming in terms of viewer engagement metrics like likes, comments, and views. This underscores the challenge academic channels face in attracting a wider audience. Further, we explore the role of academic actors on YouTube, scrutinizing their impact in disseminating research and the types of publications they reference.

Despite a general inclination towards professional academic topics, these channels displayed a varied effectiveness in spotlighting highly cited research. Often, they referenced a wide array of publications, indicating a diverse but not necessarily impact-focused approach to content selection.

Arxiv :

Societal and scientific impact of policy research: A large-scale empirical study of some explanatory factors using Altmetric and Overton

Authors: Pablo Dorta-González, Alejandro Rodríguez-Caro, María Isabel Dorta-González

This study investigates how scientific research influences policymaking by analyzing citations of research articles in policy documents (policy impact) for nearly 125,000 articles across 434 public policy journals. We reveal distinct citation patterns between policymakers and other stakeholders like researchers, journalists, and the public.

News and blog mentions, social media engagement, and open access publications (excluding fully open access) significantly increase the likelihood of a research article being cited in policy documents. Conversely, articles locked behind paywalls and those published under the full open access model (based on Altmetric data) have a lower chance of being policy-cited. Publication year and policy type show no significant influence. Our findings emphasize the crucial role of science communication channels like news media and social media in bridging the gap between research and policy.

Interestingly, academic citations hold a weaker influence on policy citations compared to news mentions, suggesting a potential disconnect between how researchers reference research and how policymakers utilize it. This highlights the need for improved communication strategies to ensure research informs policy decisions more effectively.

This study provides valuable insights for researchers, policymakers, and science communicators. Researchers can tailor their dissemination efforts to reach policymakers through media channels. Policymakers can leverage these findings to identify research with higher policy relevance. Science communicators can play a critical role in translating research for policymakers and fostering dialogue between the scientific and policymaking communities.

Arxiv :

Who Are Tweeting About Academic Publications? A Cochrane Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Altmetric Studies

Authors : Ashraf Maleki, Kim Holmberg

Previous studies have developed different categorizations of Twitter users who interact with scientific publications online, reflecting the difficulty in creating a unified approach. Using Cochrane Review meta-analysis to analyse earlier research (including 79,014 Twitter users, over twenty million tweets, and over five million tweeted publications from 23 studies), we created a consolidated robust categorization consisting of 11 user categories, at different dimensions, covering most of any future needs for user categorizations on Twitter and possibly also other social media platforms.

Our findings showed, with moderate certainty, covering all the earlier different approaches employed, that the predominant Twitter group was individual users (66%), responsible for the majority of tweets (55%) and tweeted publications (50%), while organizations (22%, 27%, and 28%, respectively) and science communicators (16%, 13%, and 30%) clearly contributed smaller proportions.

The cumulative findings from prior investigations indicated a statistically equal extent of academic individuals (33%) and other individuals (28%). While academic individuals shared more academic publications than other individuals (42% vs. 31%), they posted fewer tweets overall (22% vs. 30%), but these differences do not reach statistical significance.

Despite significant heterogeneity arising from variations in categorization methods, the findings consistently indicate the importance of academics in disseminating academic publications.


Evaluative altmetrics: is there evidence for its application to research evaluation?

Authors : Wenceslao Arroyo-Machado, Daniel Torres-Salinas


Altmetrics have been demonstrated as a promising tool for analyzing scientific communication on social media. Nevertheless, its application for research evaluation remains underdeveloped, despite the advancement of research in the study of diverse scientific interactions.


This paper develops a method for applying altmetrics in the evaluation of researchers, focusing on a case study of the Environment/Ecology ESI field publications by researchers at the University of Granada. We considered Twitter as a mirror of social attention, news outlets as media, and Wikipedia as educational, exploring mentions from these three sources and the associated actors in their respective media, contextualizing them using various metrics.


Our analysis evaluated different dimensions such as the type of audience, local attention, engagement generated around the mention, and the profile of the actor. Our methodology effectively provided dashboards that gave a comprehensive view of the different instances of social attention at the author level.


The use of altmetrics for research evaluation presents significant potential, as shown by our case study. While this is a novel method, our results suggest that altmetrics could provide valuable insights into the social attention that researchers garner. This can be an important tool for research evaluation, expanding our understanding beyond traditional metrics.

URL : Evaluative altmetrics: is there evidence for its application to research evaluation?


Identification and classification of evaluation indicators for scientific and technical publications and related factors

Authors : Hassan Mahmoudi Topkanlo, Mehrdad CheshmehSohrabi


Given the importance of the issue of the widespread impact of scientific and technical publications in today’s world, and the diversity and multiplicity of indicators for measuring these publications, it is a necessity to classify these indicators from different angles and through different tools and methods.


This study used documentary analysis and Delphi technique methods. The members of the Delphi panel were twenty-one experts in metric fields in information science who answered the research questionnaires several times until reaching a consensus.


Kendall’s coefficient of concordance and a one-sample t-test were used to measure the agreement of the panel members as raters on the questionnaire items.


A total of thirty-four sub-categories of indicators of assessment were identified which were categorised according to their similarities and differences into eight main categories as follows: measurement method, measurement unit, measurement content, measurement purpose, measurement development, measurement resource, measurability, and measurement environment.


Classification of the indicators of evaluation for scientific and technical publications and related factors can lead to improved understanding, critique, modelling and development of indicators. The findings of this study can be considered a basis for further research and help develop evaluative theoretical foundations in scientific and technical publications and related factors.

URL : Identification and classification of evaluation indicators for scientific and technical publications and related factors


The Many Publics of Science: Using Altmetrics to Identify Common Communication Channels by Scientific field

Authors : Daniel Torres-Salinas, Domingo Docampo, Wenceslao Arroyo-Machado, Nicolas Robinson-Garcia

Altmetrics have led to new quantitative studies of science through social media interactions. However, there are no models of science communication that respond to the multiplicity of non-academic channels.

Using the 3653 authors with the highest volume of altmetrics mentions from the main channels (Twitter, News, Facebook, Wikipedia, Blog, Policy documents, and Peer reviews) to their publications (2016-2020), it has been analyzed where the audiences of each discipline are located.

The results evidence the generalities and specificities of these new communication models and the differences between areas. These findings are useful for the development of science communication policies and strategies.