March 28, 2020

Journal Article: “The Stability of Twitter Metrics: A Study on Unavailable Twitter Mentions of Scientific Publications”

The article linked to below was published (open access) earlier this week by the Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology (JASIST).

Title

The Stability of Twitter Metrics: A Study on Unavailable Twitter Mentions of Scientific Publications

Authors

Zhichao Fang
Leiden University

Jonathan Dudek
Leiden University
Rodrigo Costas
Leiden University

Source

Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology (JASIST)
February 24, 2020 (Early View)
DOI: 10.1002/asi.24344

Abstract

This study investigated the stability of Twitter counts of scientific publications over time. For this, we conducted an analysis of the availability statuses of over 2.6 million Twitter mentions received by the 1,154 most tweeted scientific publications recorded by Altmetric.com up to October 2017. The results show that of the Twitter mentions for these highly tweeted publications, about 14.3% had become unavailable by April 2019. Deletion of tweets by users is the main reason for unavailability, followed by suspension and protection of Twitter user accounts. This study proposes two measures for describing the Twitter dissemination structures of publications: Degree of Originality (i.e., the proportion of original tweets received by an article) and Degree of Concentration (i.e., the degree to which retweets concentrate on a single original tweet). Twitter metrics of publications with relatively low Degree of Originality and relatively high Degree of Concentration were observed to be at greater risk of becoming unstable due to the potential disappearance of their Twitter mentions. In light of these results, we emphasize the importance of paying attention to the potential risk of unstable Twitter counts, and the significance of identifying the different Twitter dissemination structures when studying the Twitter metrics of scientific publications.

Direct to Full Text Article

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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