May 26, 2022

Altmetrics: “Tweets as Impact Indicators: Examining the Implications of Automated ‘Bot’ Accounts on Twitter”

Here’s a new preprint from researchers in Canada, Finland, and the U.S. that will likely be of interest to many infoDOCKET readers.


Tweets as Impact Indicators: Examining the Implications of Automated “Bot” Accounts on Twitter


Stefanie Haustein
Université de Montréal

Timothy D. Bowman
Université de Montréal

Kim Holmberg
University of Turku

Andrew Tsou
Indiana University

Cassidy R. Sugimoto
Indiana University

Vincent Larivière
Université du Québec à Montréal
University of Turku


via arXiv


This brief communication presents preliminary findings on automated Twitter accounts distributing links to scientific papers deposited on the preprint repository arXiv. It discusses the implication of the presence of such bots from the perspective of social media metrics (altmetrics), where mentions of scholarly documents on Twitter have been suggested as a means of measuring impact that is both broader and timelier than citations. We present preliminary findings that automated Twitter accounts create a considerable amount of tweets to scientific papers and that they behave differently than common social bots, which has critical implications for the use of raw tweet counts in research evaluation and assessment. We discuss some definitions of Twitter cyborgs and bots in scholarly communication and propose differentiating between different levels of engagement from tweeting only bibliographic information to discussing or commenting on the content of a paper.

Direct to Full Text (9 pages; PDF)

See Also: Additional Papers Available on arXiv by Lead Author Stefanie Haustein
Note: Several papers available here were co-authored by the same group as the paper linked to above.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.