Characteristics of blogs and bloggers in the science


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A lecture I gave in the International Conference on Science and the Internet 2012 (#cosci12), August 3, 2012.

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  • RB posts are the “transition phase” between the citation in formal communication and the free-form writing of blogs“Blog citation” – journal referenced in a blog post in our sample
  • My favorite tweet about our research. Summarizes most of our first research in less than 140 characters
  • As you can see, this post belongs to several disciplines in our study, and therefore was considered both in the computer science/engineering category and in the ecology/conservation category
  • While there’s definitely an element of promotion in self-citing, it’s also has to do a lot with “My research is awesome, let me tell you all about it!”
  • Women are underrepresented in science blogging. Only 22% of the blogs are written or co-written by women. These are results from our first sample. Women are even less represented in the self-citers population. We had 45 self citers overall (after we removed duplicates), 39 men and 6 women.
  • Characteristics of blogs and bloggers in the science

    1. 1. CHARACTERISTICS OF BLOGS,BLOGGERS AND SELF-CITATION IN THE SCIENCE BLOGOSPHERE Hadas Shema, Judit Bar-Ilan and Mike Thelwall CoScI 2012 : Conference on Science and the Internet 2012
    2. 2. Post-Publication Peer Review• Wolfe-Simon et al. (2011). A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus. Science (published online in December 2, 2010)• Extensively criticized in Blogs and Twitter (See “Arsenic Bacteria link-dump,” Blog Around the Clock). #arseniclife• 8 comments eventually published by Science on May 27, 2011• Article mentioned in about 1,330 blog posts (Google Blog Search, July 2012, for exact title)
    3. 3. Detective Work• A “Citation Cartel” discovered by blogger Phil Davis from the Scholarly Kitchen (“The emergence of a Citation Cartel,” Davis, P. 2012, Apr 10).• Review articles written to increase journals’ impact factors and published in other journals.• Three out of the four offenders were suspended from the JCR (“Citation cartel journals denied 2011 Impact Factor,” Davis, P. 2012, June 29).• Two articles retracted due to citation manipulation (“A first? Papers retracted for citation manipulation,” Oransky, I. ,2012 July 5)
    4. 4. ResearchBlogging.Org• Aggregates blog posts citing peer-reviewed research.• “ allows readers to easily find blog posts about serious peer-reviewed research, instead of just news reports and press releases.”
    5. 5. Blog Citations – A Transition Phase
    6. 6. First Sample• 126 non-commercial blogs, by one or two authors, with more than 20 entries posted at RB during 2010• Reviewed journals based on last five posts in each blog
    7. 7. Most cited journals according to number of blog citations
    8. 8. @DrVes: Research Bloggers show apreference for papers from high-impact journals - just like everyoneelse on earth
    9. 9. Mendeley and WoS Ranking
    10. 10. Self-Citation in Blogs
    11. 11. Second Sample• Four RB categories• Computer Science/Engineering,• Ecology/Conservation,• Philosophy• Mathematics• Only blogs and posts with known authors
    12. 12. Quotes from self-citing bloggers“I am a coauthor on a new paper in PLoS ComputationalBiology I thought I would promote here.” Jonathan Eisen,Tree of Life“What did my work show? Deep-sea nematodes have acomplex evolutionary history…” Holly Bik, Deep Sea New“Yay! First paper of my postdoc is out in the August 2011issue of Global Change Biology! Woohoo! So, what have Ibeen doing for the past few years of my life? In briefsummary: Kelp. Food webs. Climate change. A potentcombination.” Jeremy Yoder, Im a chordata! urochordata!
    13. 13. Posts and self-citing postsCategory posts self-citing postsEcology/Conservation 612 31(5%)Computer 407 35(9%)Science/EngineeringPhilosophy 182 17(9%)Mathematics 173 18(10%)
    14. 14. Bloggers and self-citersCategory Bloggers Self-citersEcology/Conservation 132 17(13%)Computer 93 19(20%)Science/EngineeringPhilosophy 64 11(17%)Mathematics 89 8(9%)
    15. 15. Gender Distribution Among Bloggers
    16. 16. Comparison Education
    17. 17. Limitations• RB blogs only• Anonymous bloggers• Relatively small number of self-citers• Blogger does not always equals peer- reviewed author• Four disciplines• Based on Web profiles
    18. 18. Overall Findings• The self-citation rate was low and varied by category.• Self-citers were a more homogenous group than the rest of the RB population
    19. 19. THANK YOU