January 18, 2022

Journal Article: “Large-Scale Identification and Characterization of Scholars on Twitter”

The article linked to below was published earlier this month by Quantitative Science Studies.


Large-Scale Identification and Characterization of Scholars on Twitter


Rodrigo Costas
Leiden University

Philippe Mongeon
Márcia R. Ferreira
Jeroen van Honk
Thomas Franssen


Quantitative Science Studies
DOI: 10.1162/qss_a_00047


This paper presents a new method for identifying scholars who have a Twitter account from bibliometric data from Web of Science (WoS) and Twitter data from Altmetric.com. The method reliably identifies matches between Twitter accounts and scholarly authors. It consists of a matching of elements such as author names, usernames, handles, and URLs, followed by a rule-based scoring system that weights the common occurrence of these elements related to the activities of Twitter users and scholars. The method proceeds by matching the Twitter accounts against a database of millions of disambiguated bibliographic profiles from WoS. This paper describes the implementation and validation of the matching method, and performs verification through precision-recall analysis. We also explore the geographical, disciplinary, and demographic variations in the distribution of scholars matched to a Twitter account. This approach represents a step forward in the development of more advanced forms of social media studies of science by opening up an important door for studying the interactions between science and social media in general, and for studying the activities of scholars on Twitter in particular.

Direct to Full Text Article
21 pages; PDF.

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.