A Systematic Identification and Analysis of Scientists on Twitter

Authors: Qing Ke, Yong-Yeol Ahn, Cassidy R. Sugimoto

Abstract: Metrics derived from Twitter and other social media—often referred to as altmetrics—are increasingly used to estimate the broader social impacts of scholarship. Such efforts, however, may produce highly misleading results, as the entities that participate in conversations about science on these platforms are largely unknown. For instance, if altmetric activities are generated mainly by scientists, does it really capture broader social impacts of science? Here we present a systematic approach to identifying and analyzing scientists on Twitter. Our method can be easily adapted to identify other stakeholder groups in science. We investigate the demographics, sharing behaviors, and interconnectivity of the identified scientists. Our work contributes to the literature both methodologically and conceptually—we provide new methods for disambiguating and identifying particular actors on social media and describing the behaviors of scientists, thus providing foundational information for the construction and use of indicators on the basis of social media metrics.

Citation: Qing Ke, Yong-Yeol Ahn, Cassidy R. Sugimoto. (2016). A Systematic Identification and Analysis of Scientists on Twitter. Arxiv