Scholarly use of social media and altmetrics: a review of the literature

Authors: Sugimoto C, Work S, Larivière V, Haustein S

Abstract: Social media has become integrated into the fabric of the scholarly communication system in fundamental ways: principally through scholarly use of social media platforms and the promotion of new indicators on the basis of interactions with these platforms. Research and scholarship in this area has accelerated since the coining and subsequent advocacy for altmetrics — that is, research indicators based on social media activity. This review provides an extensive account of the state-of-the art in both scholarly use of social media and altmetrics. The review consists of two main parts: the first examines the use of social media in academia, examining the various functions these platforms have in the scholarly communication process and the factors that affect this use. The second part reviews empirical studies of altmetrics, discussing the various interpretations of altmetrics, data collection and methodological limitations, and differences according to platform. The review ends with a critical discussion of the implications of this transformation in the scholarly communication system.

Citation: Sugimoto C, Work S, Larivière V, Haustein S. (2016). Scholarly use of social media and altmetrics: a review of the literature. JASIST

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