Highlights from the Brazilian Meeting on Bibliometrics and Scientometrics

This July, ScholCommLab’s Stefanie Haustein attended the sixth ever Brazilian Meeting on Bibliometrics and Scientometrics in Rio de Janeiro. In this short Q&A, she shares highlights from the event, including a keynote presentation about her work on Twitter and scholarly communication, connections with researchers from around the world, and a healthy dose of delicious Brazilian cocktails.

Tell me about the Brazilian Meeting on Bibliometrics and Scientometrics. What’s the conference about? Who attends?

The EBBC is a biannual national conference, where researchers and students from all over Brazil meet to present and discuss their findings on bibliometric and altmetrics research. This year was the sixth time EBBC took place, and it returned to Rio de Janeiro, where the inaugural conference was held in 2008. The conference language is Portuguese with guest speakers presenting in English. I was quite impressed by the number of presentations and the size of the Brazilian scholarly metrics community.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Science in Network.” In your view, how do networks affect or enable the way research is done?

Networks are essential to do research. We’ve come a long way from the lone scholar and most research now is carried out by groups of scholars, which often involve national and international partners. I personally think that any analysis or publication gets better when it is done in collaboration, particularly if collaborators come from different backgrounds and are equipped with different skill sets.

You gave one of the keynote speech at the conference. Can you tell me, briefly, what it was about? Did your work at the ScholCommLab inform your talk?  

Data cleaning with a view: roof top at the hotel with a view on the Copacabana beach

EBBC invited three international speakers. Cassidy Sugimoto opened the workshop on Tuesday with a talk on science in a global society. Cameron Neylon and I presented on Wednesday. My talk was entitled How, when and what does the Twittersphere tweet about science? and summarized findings from my work on scholarly Twitter metrics. It was based on this book chapter (which I also blogged about here) and provided data on tweets linking to scientific articles published by Brazilian authors. Having cleaned geographical data for all tweets from Brazil (with a view of Copacabana), I could show that the majority of tweets came from the South and Southeast of Brazil, where most large cities are located. For the first time I also analyzed emojis used in those tweets. Juan Alperin helped me to extract those from the tweet text using an emoji Python library. At less than 1%, only a small share of tweets contained emojis, but it was nevertheless interesting to explore differences between countries.

What was the highlight of the conference for you?

The whole week was a highlight so it is hard for me to pick one. Since I do not speak Portuguese I probably missed a lot of interesting talks by local presenters, but I had really interesting discussions over coffee during breaks and over caipirinhas during a social event in a salsa bar. I particularly enjoyed meeting people in person who I had previously been connected to on Twitter, sometimes for years. I also managed to take a day off to go snorkeling in Búzios.

What did you take away from the event?

I made a number of new connections at EBBC6, which will hopefully lead to new collaborations and might even bring new visiting scholars to the ScholCommLab. After Germana Barata left SFU last month, it would be great to have another scholar from Brazil come work with us!

I also came home from Rio with a concrete plan to publish the results from the Brazilian Twitter analysis together with Iara Vidal and Fábio Castro Gouveia on the Scielo blog. I am pretty excited about the potential audience, as the blog publishes all posts in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.

For more information about the conference, visit ebbc.inf.br.