Open access papers 'more likely to be cited on Twitter'

Articles that are free to view are also more frequently shared on Facebook, new research finds

October 10, 2015
twitter, social media, tweet

Articles that feature in open access journals are more likely to be cited on Twitter, a major study of how research is shared has found.

Kim Holmberg, a research associate at the University of Turku in Finland, has conducted a study looking at around 4 million “altmetric events” – the sharing of research using tools like Facebook and the academic bookmarking tool Mendeley - which might shed light on the impact of scholarly work beyond the traditional measure of citations by other academics.  

Speaking to a conference on altmetrics on 8 October in Amsterdam, Dr Holmberg presented the preliminary findings, which showed that open access journals and articles have a “big advantage” when it comes to being shared on Twitter compared with those behind a paywall.

They were also more likely to be shared on Facebook, although to a lesser extent, he told the 2am:Amsterdam conference.

However, on Mendeley and Wikipedia, articles behind a paywall were relatively more likely to be cited.

This finding was “logical” that because Mendeley users were researchers, and so were more likely to use paywalled articles, he said. Conversely, the results indicate that on Twitter “the attention might come from a wider audience”, Dr Holmberg said.

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