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Enthusiasm for using Twitter as a source of data in the social sciences extends to measuring the impact of research with Twitter data being a key component in the new altmetrics approach. In this paper, we examine tweets containing links to research articles in the field of dentistry to assess the extent to which tweeting about scientific papers signifies engagement with, attention to, or consumption of scientific literature. The main goal is to better comprehend the role Twitter plays in scholarly communication and the potential value of tweet counts as traces of broader engagement with scientific literature. In particular, the pattern of tweeting to the top ten most tweeted scientific dental articles and of tweeting by accounts is examined. The ideal that tweeting about scholarly articles represents curating and informing about state-of-the-art appears not to be realized in practice. We see much presumably human tweeting almost entirely mechanical and devoid of original thought, no evidence of conversation, tweets generated by monomania, duplicate tweeting from many accounts under centralized professional management and tweets generated by bots. Some accounts exemplify the ideal, but they represent less than 10% of tweets. Therefore, any conclusions drawn from twitter data is swamped by the mechanical nature of the bulk of tweeting behavior. In light of these results, we discuss the compatibility of Twitter with the research enterprise as well as some of the financial incentives behind these patterns.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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A quantitative measure of the frequency on average with which articles in a journal have been cited in a given period of time.
The predominant publication type for articles and other items indexed for NLM databases.
Work consisting of an acknowledgment of an error, issued by a publisher, editor, or author. It customarily cites the source where the error occurred, giving complete bibliographic data for retrieval. In the case of books and monographs, author, title, imprint, paging, and other helpful references will be given; in the case of journal articles, the author, title, paging, and journal reference will be shown. An erratum notice is variously cited as Errata or Corrigenda.
Prefactory summary to a special issue or section of a journal devoted to a specific topic. This introductory text can be of varying length and substance.
Work consisting of a formal report giving details of the investigation and results of a medical or other scientific problem. When issued by a government agency or comparable official body, its contents may be classified, unclassified, or declassified with regard to security clearance. This publication type may also cover a scientific paper or article that records the current state or current position of scientific research and development. If so labeled by the editor or publisher, this publication type may be properly used for journal articles.
Dentistry is the study, management and treatment of diseases and conditions affecting the mouth, jaw, teeth and their supporting tissues (Oxford Medical Dictionary) The work of a dentist ranges from regular patient check-up to orthodontics and surgery....
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