Health and Science Communication

What does it mean to be a science communicator in today’s media landscape? How do online media shape the way in which health information is shared, portrayed, and understood?


New digital spaces such as blogs, aggregators, and social media platforms are rapidly transforming the world’s media landscape—as well as the way in which we share, consume, and engage with scholarly work. Sharing Health Research is a multi-year, SSHRC-funded project that examines these ongoing transformations in the online media landscape, with a focus on how they contribute to the wider communication and uptake of health research.

Through a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, the project examines how, where, and among whom health information circulates online, in the form of research publications, preprints, news stories, social media posts, and more. Expanding on our previous research on digital science communication, it seeks provide insights into the sharing of reliable health information and to support academics, journalists, and other science communicators in effectively engaging online audiences.

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Related Publications

Barata, G., Caldas, G., Gascoigne, T., Barata, G., Caldas, G., & Gascoigne, T. (2017). Brazilian science communication research: national and international contributions. Anais Da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, AHEAD, 0–0. https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201720160822
Barata, G., Riedlinger, M., Schiele, A., & Pablo Alperin, J. (2018, September 16). Using social media metrics to identify science communicators in Canada. Science & You Conference, Beijing, China. Download
Riedlinger, M., Schiele, A., & Barata, G. (2018, September 16). Mapping the contemporary science communication landscape in Canada. Science & You Conference, Beijing, China.
Riedlinger, M., Barata, G., & Schiele, A. (2019). The landscape of science communication in contemporary Canada: A focus on anglophone actors and networks. Cultures of Science, 2(1), 51–83. https://doi.org/10.1177/209660831900200105 Download
Gascoigne, T., Schiele, B., Leach, J., & Riedlinger, M. (Eds.). (2020). Communicating science: a global perspective. ANU Press. https://doi.org/http://doi.org/10.22459/CS.2020
Barata, G., & Manica, D. (2020, November 6). Stem-cells from menstrual blood in Twitter: Paper attention on social media. The 2020 Altmetrics Workshop: The Future is Now, Virtual. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Stem-cells-from-menstrual-blood-in-Twitter%3A-paper-Barata-Manica/08a060e69e4d340c2f291ebbb7c307fb13032006 Download Download
Velho, R. M., & Barata, G. (2020). Profiles, challenges, and motivations of science Youtubers. Frontiers in Communication, 5, 542936. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2020.542936 Download
Fleerackers, A., Riedlinger, M., Moorhead, L., Ahmed, R., & Alperin, J. P. (2020). Replication Data for: Communicating scientific uncertainty in an age of COVID-19. Harvard Dataverse. https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/WG9VDS
Fleerackers, A., Riedlinger, M., Moorhead, L., Ahmed, R., & Alperin, J. P. (2021). Communicating scientific uncertainty in an age of COVID-19: an investigation into the use of preprints by digital media outlets. Health Communication, 1–13. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2020.1864892 Download
Riedlinger, M., Schiele, A., & Barata, G. (2021). Emerging practices in science communication in Canada. In B. Schiele, X. Liu, & M. Bauer (Eds.), Science Cultures in a Diverse World: Knowing, Sharing, Caring (pp. 91–109). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-5379-7_5
Riedlinger, M., Fleerackers, A., Bruns, A., Burgess, J., Guenther, L., Joubert, M., & Osman, K. (2021). The conversation, ten years on: assessing the impact of a unique scholarly publishing initiative. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12130 Download
Maggio, L. A., & Fleerackers, A. (2022). Preprints in health professions education: raising awareness and shifting culture. Academic Medicine, 10.1097/ACM.0000000000005001. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000005001
Fleerackers, A., Moorhead, L., Maggio, L. A., Fagan, K., & Alperin, J. P. (2022). Science in motion: A qualitative analysis of journalists’ use and perception of preprints. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.02.03.479041 Download
Atef, N. (2022). If research is not the evidence, what is it? Egyptian physicians’ explanations of the lack of research citations in their health vlogs (p. 2022.04.25.489430). bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.04.25.489430
Atef, N., Fleerackers, A., & Alperin, J. P. (2022). “Doctors” or “Influencers”? Physicians’ Presentation of Self in Health Vlogs. SocArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/2rbt7 Download
Atef, N., Fleerackers, A., & Alperin, J. P. (2022). Doctors on YouTube: Exploring the Uses and Gratifications of Health Vloggers. SocArXiv. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/pb47w Download
Moorhead, L. L., Fleerackers, A., & Maggio, L. A. (2022). “It’s my job”: A qualitative study of the mediatization of science within the scientist-journalist relationship. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.08.10.503486 Download
Fleerackers, A. (2022). A focus on science communication at #ICA22. Journal of Science Communication, 21(6), R01. https://doi.org/10.22323/2.21060601 Download
Fleerackers, A., Nehring, L., Maggio, L. A., Enkhbayar, A., Moorhead, L., & Alperin, J. P. (2022). Identifying science in the news: An assessment of the precision and recall of Altmetric.com news mention data. Scientometrics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-022-04510-7 Download
Fleerackers, A., Moorhead, L. L., Maggio, L. A., Fagan, K., & Alperin, J. P. (2022). Science in motion: A qualitative analysis of journalists’ use and perception of preprints. PLOS ONE, 17(11), e0277769. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0277769 Download