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Disciplinary Differences in Selected Scholars' Twitter Transmissions Kim Holmberg 1 and Mike Thelwall 2 1 |

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Presentation on theme: "Disciplinary Differences in Selected Scholars' Twitter Transmissions Kim Holmberg 1 and Mike Thelwall 2 1 |"— Presentation transcript:

1 Disciplinary Differences in Selected Scholars' Twitter Transmissions Kim Holmberg 1 and Mike Thelwall 2 1, | 2 School of Technology, University of Wolverhampton, UK AEW 5/6/13

2 Cascades, Islands, or Streams? Time, Topic, and Scholarly Activities in Humanities and Social Science Research Indiana University, Bloomington, USA University of Wolverhampton, UK Université de Montréal, Canada

3 Cascades, Islands, or Streams? Integrate several datasets representing a broad range of scholarly activities Use methodological and data triangulation to explore the lifecycle of topics within and across a range of scholarly activities Develop transparent tools and techniques to enable future predictive analyses

4 #Altmetrics is the study and use of non- traditional scholarly impact measures that are based on activity in web-based environments.;jsessionid=70DF7B9AD8D7CE819F666E7791D4084E

5 RQ This research investigates how researchers in different disciplines use Twitter for scholarly communication with the following research questions: 1.How are researchers in different disciplines using Twitter for scholarly communication? 2.What kinds of disciplinary differences are there in the use of Twitter for scholarly communication?



8 Tweet Retweet or RT @username Message (privat) #Hashtag


10 DisciplineResearchersTweets 1 Tweets per researcher Cheminformatics4881,8361,705 Cognitive science5250,128964 Drug discovery2418,293762 Social network analysis4741,464882 Sociology4864,4471,371 Data was collected between 4 March 2012 and 16 October 2012 using Twitter’s API. DATA 1) Twitter restricts the collection of tweets sent by users to approx. 3,200 tweets

11 METHODS From each discipline a random sample of 200 tweets was selected and these were classified using a multifaceted classification scheme. In facet 1 the communication style was classified and in facet 2 the scientific content, or lack of it, was classified.

12 FACET 1 communication style Retweets were identified by the acronym RT or by some other way that clearly indicated that the tweet was at least a partial copy of a previous tweet. Conversational tweets were identified by @-sign followed by a username and were not retweets. Tweets in the Links category were tweets that were neither retweets nor conversational tweets but contained one or more URLs. Other- all remaining tweets.

13 FACET 2 content The scholarly communication category contained tweets that were clearly about research-related communication. Discipline-relevant tweets were clearly about disciplinary communication not directly research related. Not clear was for tweets with no clear topic. The topic of the tweets and the scientific content were unclear. Not about science and not about the discipline. Tweets irrelevant to the discipline and research.

14 RESULTS Figure 1. Communication styles of the tweets in the five different disciplines

15 RESULTS Figure 2. Scientific content of the tweets in the five different disciplines

16 RESULTS Figure 3. Scientific content of the tweets by communication type

17 LIMITATIONS Tweets were classified by only one researcher.  While facet 1 is fairly straightforward, facet 2 was classified conservatively so that clear evidence was needed for the more scholarly categories 1. The sample is based upon 24-52 researchers per discipline  The disciplinary differences found may be due to the sample of researchers rather than their disciplines. It may be easier to classify tweets in some disciplines  Some disciplines have more specialist vocabularies (e.g., chemoinformatics) and others discuss issues that are of general interest to society (e.g., sociology). 1) In another sample with other disciplines, intercoder agreement in facet 1 was 99.2% and in facet 2 68.9% with Cohen’s Kappa 0.587.

18 CONCLUSIONS The results suggests that there may be significant differences between disciplines in the extent to which their active users use Twitter for scholarly communication. It seems to be worrying that some disciplines are avoiding Twitter almost completely for scholarly communication despite other disciplines evidently finding it useful for this purpose.

19 FUTURE Comparisons between active and ‘lazy’ Twitter users. Closer analysis of the scientific tweets and possible relationships between the tweets and citations. Qualitative study about the researchers’ own thoughts about how they use and what they think about Twitter.

20 Kim Holmberg, PhD Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group University of Wolverhampton, UK @kholmber Acknowledgements This manuscript is based upon work supported by the international funding initiative Digging into Data. Specifically, funding comes from the National Science Foundation in the United States (Grant No. 1208804), JISC in the United Kingdom, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Thank you for listening

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