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 :

YouTube as a source of information on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine during the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors : Thales Brandi Ramos, Luciana Castilho Bokehi, Raphael Castilho Bokehi, Taynah da Silava Pinheiro, Erika Barreto de Oliveira, Renan da SilvaGianoti Torres, Jose Raphael Bokehi, Sabrina Calil-Elias, Selma Rodrigues de Castilho

This research aimed to analyze the quality of the information conveyed through YouTube videos in Portuguese on the use of two medicines suggested for the treatment of COVID-19: chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.

The ‘Brief DISCERN’ questionnaire was applied to assess the quality of the video content as well as baseline characteristics, such as length, views, likes and dislikes, in a total of 90 videos with almost 4,5 million views.

Traditional media accounted for 58,89% of videos. Misleading information was present in most of the videos (63,5%). Despite the ease of access, the videos showed problems in the quality of information.

URL : YouTube as a source of information on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine during the COVID-19 pandemic


Science on YouTube: Legitimation Strategies of Brazilian Science YouTubers

Authors : Natália Martins Flore, Priscila Muniz de Medeiros

This study analyzes the legitimation strategies displayed by YouTubers of the 10 most popular science channels regarding YouTube Brazil. Using Discourse Analysis from a French perspective, it unfolds the ethos of the YouTuber, the preferred discursive scenographies, and kinds of contents and discursive approaches of these channels.

The results show the predominant presence of didactic scenography, followed by commentary, scientist-in-action, and journalist scenographies. They unfold themselves in monologue, questions and answers, live experiments, whiteboard videos and short documentary subgenres.

The discursive ethos presents the YouTuber as an informed person who has knowledge on science subjects, teaching them to his audience or commenting on a certain theme or topic. Legitimation strategies come from personal experiences and rarely from a scientist’s identity, despite the YouTuber may use scientific authority in some cases.

The use of humor in enunciations and video editing, the reference to pop culture, and the use of an informal language, show the tendency that these channels have in presenting scientific themes in a soft and interesting way.