Retina 2022

Retina 2022

Source:

Garg SJ. Twitter use by ophthalmology journals and impact on citations. Presented at: Retina 2022; Jan. 15-21, 2022; Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Disclosures: Garg reports no relevant financial disclosures.
January 18, 2022
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Twitter may affect how journal articles are consumed by public

Source:

Garg SJ. Twitter use by ophthalmology journals and impact on citations. Presented at: Retina 2022; Jan. 15-21, 2022; Waikoloa, Hawaii.

Disclosures: Garg reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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WAIKOLOA, Hawaii — Twitter could potentially affect how journal articles are viewed, read and shared among academic professionals, an expert said at Retina 2022.

According to Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS, co-director of retina research at Wills Eye Hospital, there are nearly 400 million users on Twitter, with about half of them active daily.

Sunir J. Garg

Garg’s discussion focused on journal articles shared on Twitter and how they make an impact on audiences, news outlets and those who benefit from public data. To calculate this impact factor, Garg said data from the past 2 years are used to calculate the impact for the current year. For example, for 2020, the number of total journal articles from 2018 and 2019 would be added, and that number would be divided by the number of citations included in those articles from the past 2 years.

According to Garg’s formula, the journal with the highest impact factor and citations since 2016 is American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Garg and colleagues assessed 221 journal articles published in November 2017 from the 10 leading ophthalmology journals. Over the course of 3 years, they cataloged all academic citations and tweets for each article and then looked at unique tweets and retweets.

“Unique tweets are generally considered to be more valuable than retweets,” Garg said. “These are people who are picking up their phone, reading the article and saying, ‘You know, this is very interesting. I’m going to tweet something about it on why it’s important.’”

Retweets, Garg said, are thought to be less valuable in terms of academic credit, while every additional tweet, or “unique tweet,” is associated with an additional 2.6 academic citations.

According to the authors, original tweets were positively associated with more citations. However, what contributed to most citations were articles with randomized controlled trials, followed by the journal’s impact factor.

“There’s definitely a disconnect between what we as researchers decide what’s important, what the internet finds important and what people tweet about,” Garg said. “Twitter activity may have some impact on scientific impact.”