Research Articles

The Twitter accounts of scientific journals: a dataset

Authors:

Abstract

Twitter harbours dense networks of academics, but to what extent do scientific journals use that platform? This article introduces a dataset of 3,485 Twitter accounts pertaining to a sample of 13,821 journals listed in Web of Science’s three major indices (SCIE, SSCI and AHCI). The summary statistics indicate that 25.2% of the journals have a dedicated Twitter presence. This number is likely to grow, as, on average, every one and a half days sees yet another journal setting up a new profile. The share of Twitter presence, however, varies strongly by publisher and discipline. The most active discipline is political science, which has almost 75% of its journals on Twitter, while other research categories have zero. The median account issues 116 messages a year and it interacts with distinct other users once in two to three Tweets. Approximately 600 journals refer to themselves as ‘peer-reviewed’, while 263 journals refer to their citation-based impact (like the impact factor) in their profile description. All in all, the data convey immense heterogeneity with respect to the Twitter behaviour of scientific journals. As there are numerous deceptive Twitter profile names established by predatory publishers, it is recommended that journals establish their official accounts lest bogus journals mislead the public about scientific findings. The dataset is available for use for further scientometric analyses.

Keywords:

science communicationaltmetricsjournalstwittersocial media
  • Year: 2023
  • Volume: 36
  • Page/Article: 1
  • DOI: 10.1629/uksg.593
  • Submitted on 9 Jun 2022
  • Accepted on 22 Jul 2022
  • Published on 10 Jan 2023
  • Peer Reviewed