Understanding the Social Impact of Research Through Social Media Engagement

This project explores the impact of research on society through the social media engagement of non-academic audiences. Academics are increasingly integrating online platforms and social media tools within their everyday communication practices. This process of information dissemination on public social platforms is an opportunity to capture and analyze novel digital traces and to study, in a computerized and large-scale fashion, how knowledge dissemination and co-creation among academia and the public emerge. Based on a technological push and pull policy, a new set of altmetrics is emerging. These non-traditional citations impact metrics organized around social media use, and show promise in capturing online social engagement. However, the audiences, as well as the process behind their social media practices, are partially understood. Therefore, both the conceptual frameworks and the empirical validation of the usefulness of these altmetrics are currently absent. Consequently, this project seeks to develop a mixed quantitative and qualitative methodological approach allowing for the study and analysis of the impact of scholarly engagement on social media. The project is headed by Juan Alperin, Assistant Professor in the Publishing Program and a Research Associate with the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University (SSHRC Insight Grant 2016–2019). Florence Millerand participates as co-investigator (with Vincent Larivière, University of Montreal, Stefanie Haustein, University of Ottawa, Katherine Reilly, Simon Fraser University) and Rémi Toupin as a research assistant.

This content has been updated on 18 March 2022 at 16 h 27 min.