Twitter as a substitute for research citations?

December 11, 2013

A study published by researchers at the Université de Montréal reveals that the number of Twitter mentions an academic work receives does not correlate with the number of citations it receives, as suggested by studies in the past. A previous study from the University of Toronto found that “highly-tweeted articles were almost 11 times as likely as less-tweeted articles to be highly cited,” reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. The new uMontréal study involved some 1.4 million articles from more than 5,000 journals, and finds no “meaningful” correlation. The uToronto study that suggested Twitter metrics could be a “supplement or even an alternative to citation counts,” examined 55 articles in a single journal. However, the uMontréal researchers do report that Twitter is increasingly being used to disseminate scientific articles. Between 2010 and 2012, there was a 20.4% increase in articles Tweeted. uMontréal News Release | Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)