Anthony Haynes writes: Though the contexts for this post, from ConservationBytes.com, are medical and conservation science research, rather than engineering, I reblog it here because it deals (in a pleasantly direct manner) with a question of interest to engineering researchers too.
One of the things that I’ve often wondered about is whether making the effort to spread your scientific article’s message as far and wide as possible on social media actually brings you more citations.
While there’s more than enough justification to promote your work widely for non-academic purposes, there is some doubt as to whether the effort reaps academic awards as well.
Back in 2011 (the Pleistocene of social media in science), Gunther Eysenbach examined 286 articles in the obscure Journal of Medical Internet Research, finding that yes, highly cited papers did indeed have more tweets. But he concluded:
Social media activity either increases citations or reflects the underlying qualities of the article that also predict citations …
Subsequent work has established similar positive relationships between social-media exposure and citation rates (e.g., for 208739 PubMed articles; > 10000 blog posts of articles published in > 20 journals)…
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