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The presence of academic journals on Twitter and its relationship with dissemination (tweets) and research impact (citations)

Jose Luis Ortega (The Spanish National Research Council, Madrid, Spain)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 20 November 2017




The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between dissemination of research papers on Twitter and its influence on research impact.


Four types of journal Twitter accounts (journal, owner, publisher and no Twitter account) were defined to observe differences in the number of tweets and citations. In total, 4,176 articles from 350 journals were extracted from Plum Analytics. This altmetric provider tracks the number of tweets and citations for each paper. Student’s t-test for two-paired samples was used to detect significant differences between each group of journals. Regression analysis was performed to detect which variables may influence the getting of tweets and citations.


The results show that journals with their own Twitter account obtain more tweets (46 percent) and citations (34 percent) than journals without a Twitter account. Followers is the variable that attracts more tweets (ß=0.47) and citations (ß=0.28) but the effect is small and the fit is not good for tweets (R2=0.46) and insignificant for citations (R2=0.18).


This is the first study that tests the performance of research journals on Twitter according to their handles, observing how the dissemination of content in this microblogging network influences the citation of their papers.



The author would like to thank to the anonymous referees for their important suggestions and to John McBurney for his helpful proofreading comments.


Ortega, J.L. (2017), "The presence of academic journals on Twitter and its relationship with dissemination (tweets) and research impact (citations)", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 69 No. 6, pp. 674-687.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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