Who tweets climate change papers? investigating publics of research through users’ descriptions
Toupin, R., Millerand, F., Larivière, V. (2022). Who tweets climate change papers? investigating publics of research through users’ descriptions. PLoS ONE, 17(6): e0268999.
As social issues like climate change become increasingly salient, digital traces left by scholarly documents can be used to assess their reach outside of academia. Our research examine who shared climate change research papers on Twitter by looking at the expressions used in profile descriptions. We categorized users in eight categories (academia, communication, political, professional, personal, organization, bots and publishers) associated to specific expressions. Results indicate how diverse publics may be represented in the communication of scholarly documents on Twitter. Supplementing our word detection analysis with qualitative assessments of the results, we highlight how the presence of unique or multiple categorizations in textual Twitter descriptions provides evidence of the publics of research in specific contexts. Our results show a more substantial communication by academics and organizations for papers published in 2016, whereas the general public comparatively participated more in 2015. Overall, there is significant participation of publics outside of academia in the communication of climate change research articles on Twitter, although the extent to which these publics participate varies between individual papers. This means that papers circulate in specific communities which need to be assessed to understand the reach of research on social media. Furthermore, the flexibility of our method provide means for research assessment that consider the contextuality and plurality of publics involved on Twitter.
This content has been updated on 15 March 2023 at 16 h 02 min.