September 22, 2019

Research Article (Preprint): “How Much Research Shared on Facebook is Hidden From Public View? A Comparison of Public and Private Online Activity Around PLOS One Papers”

The following research paper (preprint) was recently posted on arXiv.

Title

How Much Research Shared on Facebook is Hidden From Public View? A Comparison of Public and Private Online Activity Around PLOS One Papers

Authors

Asura Enkhbayar
Scholarly Communications Lab, Simon Fraser University

Stefanie Haustein
Scholarly Communications Lab, Simon Fraser University
University of Ottawa
CIRST, Université du Québec à Montréal

Germana Barata
State University of Campinas (Brazil)

Juan Pablo Alperin
Scholarly Communications Lab, Simon Fraser University
School of Publishing, Simon Fraser University

Source

via arXiv
arXiv:1909.01476v1

Abstract

Despite its undisputed position as the biggest social media platform, Facebook has never entered the main stage of altmetrics research. In this study, we argue that the lack of attention by altmetrics researchers is not due to a lack of relevant activity on the platform, but because of the challenges in collecting Facebook data have been limited to activity that takes place in a select group of public pages and groups. We present a new method of collecting shares, reactions, and comments across the platform-including private timelines-and use it to gather data for all articles published between 2015 to 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE. We compare the gathered data with altmetrics collected and aggregated by Altmetric. The results show that 58.7% of papers shared on the platform happen outside of public view and that, when collecting all shares, the volume of activity approximates patterns of engagement previously only observed for Twitter. Both results suggest that the role and impact of Facebook as a medium for science and scholarly communication has been underestimated. Furthermore, they emphasise the importance of openness and transparency around the collection and aggregation of altmetrics.

Direct to Full Text Article
26 pages; PDF.

Gary Price 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.

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