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Do traditional scientometric indicators predict social media activity on scientific knowledge? An analysis of the ecological literature

João Carlos Nabout (), Fabrício Barreto Teresa, Karine Borges Machado, Vitor Hugo Mendonça Prado, Luis Mauricio Bini and José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho
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João Carlos Nabout: Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Campus de Ciências Exatas e Tecnológicas (CCET)
Fabrício Barreto Teresa: Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Campus de Ciências Exatas e Tecnológicas (CCET)
Karine Borges Machado: Universidade Federal de Goiás, Campus II UFG
Vitor Hugo Mendonça Prado: Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Campus de Ciências Exatas e Tecnológicas (CCET)
Luis Mauricio Bini: Universidade Federal de Goiás, Campus II UFG
José Alexandre Felizola Diniz-Filho: Universidade Federal de Goiás, Campus II UFG

Scientometrics, 2018, vol. 115, issue 2, 1007-1015

Abstract: Abstract Traditional citation-based indicators and activities on Online Social Media Platforms (OnSMP; e.g. Twitter) have been used to assess the impact of scientific research. However, the association between traditional indicators (i.e., number of citations and journal impact factor) and the new OnSMP metrics still deserve further investigations. Here, we used multivariate models to evaluate the relative influence of collaboration, time since publication and traditional indicators on the interest of 2863 papers published in five ecological journals from 2013 to 2015 as given by nine OnSMP. We found that most activities were concentrated on Twitter and Mendeley and that activities in these two OnSMP are highly correlated. Our results indicate that traditional indicators explained most of the variation in OnSMP activity. Considering that OnSMP activities are high as soon as the articles are made available online, contrasting with the slow pace in which the citations are accumulated, our results support the use of activities on OnSMP as an early signal of research impact of ecological articles.

Keywords: Citation rates; Altmetric; Social networks; Science evaluation; Ecology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2678-x