Is gold open access helpful for academic purification? A causal inference analysis based on retracted articles in biochemistry

Authors : Er-Te Zheng, Zhichao Fang, Hui-Zhen Fu

The relationship between transparency and credibility has long been a subject of theoretical and analytical exploration within the realm of social sciences, and it has recently attracted increasing attention in the context of scientific research. Retraction serves as a pivotal mechanism in addressing concerns about research integrity.

This study aims to empirically examining the relationship between open access level and the effectiveness of current mechanism, specifically academic purification centered on retracted articles. In this study, we used matching and Difference-in-Difference (DiD) methods to examine whether gold open access is helpful for academic purification in biochemistry field.

We collected gold open access (Gold OA) and non-open access (non-OA) biochemistry retracted articles as the treatment group, and matched them with corresponding unretracted articles as the control group from 2005 to 2021 based on Web of Science and Retraction Watch database.

The results showed that compared to non-OA, Gold OA is advantageous in reducing the retraction time of flawed articles, but does not demonstrate a significant advantage in reducing citations after retraction. This indicates that Gold OA may help expedite the detection and retraction of flawed articles, ultimately promoting the practice of responsible research.


How is science clicked on Twitter? Click metrics for Bitly short links to scientific publications

Authors : Zhichao Fang, Rodrigo Costas, Wencan Tian, Xianwen Wang, Paul Wouters

To provide some context for the potential engagement behavior of Twitter users around science, this article investigates how Bitly short links to scientific publications embedded in scholarly Twitter mentions are clicked on Twitter.

Based on the click metrics of over 1.1 million Bitly short links referring to Web of Science (WoS) publications, our results show that around 49.5% of them were not clicked by Twitter users. For those Bitly short links with clicks from Twitter, the majority of their Twitter clicks accumulated within a short period of time after they were first tweeted.

Bitly short links to the publications in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities tend to attract more clicks from Twitter over other subject fields. This article also assesses the extent to which Twitter clicks are correlated with some other impact indicators.

Twitter clicks are weakly correlated with scholarly impact indicators (WoS citations and Mendeley readers), but moderately correlated to other Twitter engagement indicators (total retweets and total likes).

In light of these results, we highlight the importance of paying more attention to the click metrics of URLs in scholarly Twitter mentions, to improve our understanding about the more effective dissemination and reception of science information on Twitter.

URL : How is science clicked on Twitter? Click metrics for Bitly short links to scientific publications


The stability of Twitter metrics: A study on unavailable Twitter mentions of scientific publications

Authors : Zhichao Fang, Jonathan Dudek, Rodrigo Costas

This paper investigates the stability of Twitter counts of scientific publications over time. For this, we conducted an analysis of the availability statuses of over 2.6 million Twitter mentions received by the 1,154 most tweeted scientific publications recorded by this http URL up to October 2017.

Results show that of the Twitter mentions for these highly tweeted publications, about 14.3% have become unavailable by April 2019. Deletion of tweets by users is the main reason for unavailability, followed by suspension and protection of Twitter user accounts.

This study proposes two measures for describing the Twitter dissemination structures of publications: Degree of Originality (i.e., the proportion of original tweets received by a paper) and Degree of Concentration (i.e., the degree to which retweets concentrate on a single original tweet).

Twitter metrics of publications with relatively low Degree of Originality and relatively high Degree of Concentration are observed to be at greater risk of becoming unstable due to the potential disappearance of their Twitter mentions.

In light of these results, we emphasize the importance of paying attention to the potential risk of unstable Twitter counts, and the significance of identifying the different Twitter dissemination structures when studying the Twitter metrics of scientific publications.


Tracking the Digital Footprints to Scholarly Articles from Social Media

Authors : Xianwen Wang, Zhichao Fang, Xinhui Guo

Scholarly articles are discussed and shared on social media, which generates altmetrics. On the opposite side, what is the impact of social media on the dissemination of scholarly articles and how to measure it? What are the visiting patterns?

Investigating these issues, the purpose of this study is to seek a solution to fill the research gap, specifically, to explore the dynamic visiting patterns directed by social media, and examine the effects of social buzz on the article visits.

Using the unique real referral data of 110 scholarly articles, which are daily updated in a 90-day period, this paper proposes a novel method to make analysis. We find that visits from social media are fast to accumulate but decay rapidly.

Twitter and Facebook are the two most important social referrals that directing people to scholarly articles, the two are about the same and account for over 95% of the total social referral directed visits.

There is synchronism between tweets and tweets resulted visits. Social media and open access are playing important roles in disseminating scholarly articles and promoting public understanding science, which are confirmed quantitatively for the first time with real data in this study.