October 25, 2021

Research: “Emojis in Scholarly Communication:🔥 or đź’©?”

From the Scholcomm Lab Blog:

The future of the emoji may be uncertain, but one thing is abundantly clear. Emojis are booming. From classic smiley faces to dancing “party parrots,” there are now almost 3,000 options to choose from. They fill our text messages, our Slack chats, our emails—even some of our books. In 2015 the “tears of joy” emoji was declared Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries.

But despite the digital dominance of emojis, they haven’t infiltrated every aspect of daily life. Recent research by ScholCommLab co-director Stefanie Haustein reveals that, when it comes to scholarly communication, emojis mostly get a 👎.


Stefanie first decided to investigate emojis as part of a larger research project exploring how academic work is shared on Twitter. The goal was to understand what kinds of scientific documents are tweeted most, as well as when, how, and by whom. She hoped the emoji data would offer a more nuanced view of the academic Twittersphere.


Although 10-15% of academics use Twitter, only a small proportion rely on emojis. Of the 42.5 million tweets Stefanie analyzed, only 286,087—0.7%—contained at least one emoji.


To find out more about the project, check out Stefanie Haustein’s book chapter on Scholarly Twitter Metrics, available as a preprint at arXiv.org.

Learn Much More: Read the Complete Blog Post, View Multiple Charts (approx. 1000 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.