I could not resist tweeting about this one…(H/T @cdsamii and @matt_blackwell).
A couple of months ago I got into a long conversation with a group of very senior health economists about the value of young researchers engaging in social media activities (or as they saw it, wasting your time on Twitter). I have *long* (I’ve been in Twitter for 3 years, eons by Twitter standards) been a proponent of the benefits of engaging in these networks believe that I get a lot of benefits from the time I spend on twitter (which believe it or not, is not actually that much time each day). One of my arguments is that it is a great tool for research, in particular in keeping me abreast of what is new and exciting in the academic fields in which I dabble (broadly defined as #healtheconomics #healthpolicy and #globalhealth).
Earlier today I saw this paper (where else, on Twitter) that correlated the tweets a medical paper received and the subsequent number of citations that paper received 1-2 years later – the Holy Grail measure of impact in academia. It turns out that Tweets received in essentially the first few days after publication were strong predictors of the subsequent citation counts of that paper. Of course, it is totally possible that this correlation only reflects the underlying quality of the papers (or authors!) – meaning that good papers get tweeted and cited – but it might also be the case that when papers are tweeted this causes them to be read more and subsequently more highly cited.
Regardless, it is an interesting piece of research. If you follow me on Twitter, don’t be surprised if you see me tweeting about my papers soon!Share on Facebook