Stefanie Haustein on the Altmetric Blog

Starting this week, ScholCommLab co-director Stefanie Haustein is publishing a series of guest posts on the Altmetric Blog about the role of Twitter in scholarly communication. Read on for a small taste of what to expect, and find the whole series at at

The "Who What Where When How" of TwitterIt’s almost been a decade since altmetrics and social media-based metrics were introduced. Since those early days they have been heralded as indicators of the societal impact of research—after all we all like, comment and share things on social media. An early study had seen tweets to predict citation impact shortly after an article was published, which got hopes up that Twitter activity could serve as an early indicator of research impact. However, the analysis was soon followed by several large-scale correlation studies, which showed that there is hardly any connection between tweet and citation counts. But other than proving that Twitter activity did not measure the same type of impact as those reflected by citations, low correlations did not help to understand what tweets linking to scholarly publications did actually measure.

This mini series on scholarly Twitter metrics, to be published on the Altmetric blog over the next five weeks, will explore the What,Where, How, When and Who of academic Twitter, to shed some light on the significance of tweets in the context of social media metrics. The blog posts are based on a book chapter [1] for the Handbook of Quantitative Science and Technology Indicators edited by Wolfgang Glänzel, Henk Moed, Ulrich Schmoch and Mike Thelwall, which will be published later this year. A preprint of the chapter is available on arXiv.

[1] The blog posts focus on the two datasets used in the chapter: all 24 million tweets captured by Altmetric and a subset of 3.9 million tweets linking to papers published 2012 and covered by the Web of Science. For detailed descriptions of methods and related literature refer to the chapter.