Wednesday, 24 May 2017

CYGNA: Building your academic brand through social media

 Source: http://www.harzing.com/blog/2017/05/cygna-building-your-academic-brand-through-social-media








CYGNA: Building your academic brand through social media

Since moving to the UK, I have been involved in running CYGNA. The
name CYGNA derives from the female version of the Latin word for SWAN (Supporting Women in Academia Network).
CYGNA is a network of female scholars interested in the area of
business & management in general and (international) human resource
management and organizational behaviour in particular. Although this was
not intentional, more than 95% of its members are non-British
academics; our meetings typically include nearly as many nationalities
as participants!


History of the network

The network was established as the HROB network in June 2014  as a combined initiative of Argyro Avgoustaki, Ling Eleanor Zhang, and Anne-Wil Harzing. Our first official meeting
took place in October 2014 at ESCP Europe. Since then we have organised
another 15 meetings meetings. A quick overview can be found here.


The main objective of the group is to promote interaction among
female academics based in the London area and to provide a forum for
learning, support, and networking. Although most of our members work in the field of business and management, we welcome participants from neighbouring disciplines.


At present, our network has approximately 30 active members (with a
mailing list of over 100) from a wide range of London based universities
such as ESCP Europe, London School of Economics, Middlesex University,
Royal Holloway, University College London, and the University of
Greenwich. We also have many members from other British universities
such as Cranfield University, University of Bath, University of Essex,
and the University of Warwick. Our international membership includes
women from Copenhagen Business School, Osaka University, RMIT
University, and Toulouse Business School.


Social media in academia

At our last meeting for the 2016-2017 academic year (see picture
below), we had two presentations on social media use in academia that I
thought might be of relevance for a bigger audience. Hence I included
them here.













CYGNA: Building your academic brand through social media

Academic Blogging Toolbox - Growresa

 Source: http://www.growresa.com/academic-blogging-toolbox/




Academic Blogging Toolbox



Welcome to the Academic Blogging Toolbox – it is our aim to create
the most useful and comprehensive list of tools and resources available
on how to start an academic blog, grow it, and ultimately use it to
increase and demonstrate impact, help educate the public, grow
citations, and get more attention for your research.


Choose from the options below depending on what you need the most
help with right now, and find out about the tools available to support
your blogging and make your life that little bit easier.




Contents

Setting up an academic blog

Writing about research

Managing academic blogging

Developing conversations

Promoting and distributing your academic content

Staying up to date

Improving research and tracking impact

Examples of academic blogs

Useful articles, resources and websites

Feedback, changes and disclaimer






Setting up an academic blog

Getting up and running is arguably the hardest step to take, but all
you really need in order to start an academic blog is a hosting package,
a domain name and the right software.


Internal hosting – many organisations provide a hosting environment for staff blogs (see for example the University of Chicago’s academic blogging platform and the University of Northampton’s MyPAD tool)
so this might be a good place to start. However, think carefully
whether this is the right choice for your work long term; what will you
do if you move jobs? How will you communicate work involving other
organisations or roles you have? What if you one day wish to take on
consulting or other external work that cannot be communicated on an
internally-hosted website? It might also be possible to begin with a
simple website hosted internally and then branch out when you’re ready.


External hosting – There are many hosting packages and companies available, here’s a small selection of potential providers:


  • BlueHost – hosting comes with a free domain name and very simple WordPress (see below) installation.
  • ​JustHost – affordable web hosting, also with easy WordPress installation.
  • ​Go-Daddy – cost-effective website hosting.
Domain names – if you need a domain name for any website, the world’s largest registrar is ​GoDaddy.
You can select all sorts of options and variants for your website
address, and there are also business email and other options available.


Blogging software – while there are a number of different platforms available, WordPress
is arguably the best around. WordPress is intuitive, fast, optimised
for the modern web and benefits from endless customisation, extended
functionality and third party tools developed by an enormous and very
active global user community. It has been named as the most popular
content management system in the world (source) and is highly recommended for running a blog of any size.


WordPress also runs a very comprehensive and user-friendly website
for all aspects of tech support, from a basic introduction to blogging
to more advanced issues. Or if you’re feeling a bit lost you could
always get:




WordPress For Dummies – Once you have WordPress set up, this book can help you really start to thrive!


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Back to contents




Writing about research

As you know, academic blog writing is not the same as journal article
writing, grant writing or teaching. This list of useful books and
resources provide help and guidance on how to write to an academic and
non-academic audience (a number of the books refer to science
communication, but many of the principles and concepts can be translated
to the dissemination of research in other fields):




Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times – How to apply marketing advice and concepts to a scientific career.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist’s Guide to Talking to the Public – How to speak to the public, policy-makers and the media.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Houston, We Have a Narrative: Why Science Needs Story – The importance and use of narrative in communicating research.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Science Communication: A Practical Guide for Scientists – A detailed guide on how to communicate science.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




A Scientist’s Guide To Talking With The Media – Guidance on engaging with people in the media in order to promote research.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Escape from the Ivory Tower – A guide on how to better explain to different audiences why your research matters.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




The Research Impact Handbook – Straightforward, evidence-based advice on achieving research impact.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Creative Research Communication – The theory and practice of communicating research.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Successful Science Communication: Telling It Like It Is – How to better speak to the public about science.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




​Hemingway Editor
– this popular tool helps writers to create text that is clearer and
more forceful. Simply copy and paste text in to the free web-based app,
and use it to analyse the readability using a number of different
metrics.


FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Build an Online Audience for Research

Get a free guide to help you promote your research online; featuring
exclusive advice, tips, techniques and tool recommendations from nine
experts in the field. Download your free copy by joining the Growresa
email list below.







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Managing academic blogging

Metrics and tracking – tracking the traffic sources, behaviour and basic demographics of your blog’s readers is easy (and free) with Google Analytics. Simply add a small piece of tracking code to your site and you’ll start collecting statistics immediately.


There are also a range of free WordPress plugins that can be used to easily add Google Analytics to your site, and that provide a bit more functionality to use with it.


In addition, if search traffic is an important part of spreading the word about your work, then Google’s Search Console is also a very useful system that will give you some basic data on the “keywords” people are using when they find your blog.


References – If you need to manage references and incorporate citations into your blogging, then the Academic Blogger’s Toolkit WordPress plugin
can make the process much easier to manage. The plugin makes it easy to
import, arrange and display citations in blog posts in a number of
different ways; such as by importing from reference managers or PubMed,
and by using PMIDs and DOIs.


Editorial calendar – A basic editorial calendar
helps keep any blog on track by ensuring enough time and focus is
dedicated to posts on different topics. It also acts as the basis of a
workflow for collaborating with other people. A publishing calendar can
be managed in a simple spreadsheet, or via an online service such as Google calendar (which requires a Google account). Specialist blogging production calendar tools such as CoSchedule have also been developed, as well as the free WordPress plugin Edit Flow which is designed for collaboration.


Back to contents




Developing conversations

A blog is an opportunity to facilitate a genuine two-way conversation
with the target audience of your research – the people who you need to
convince to take action in order to generate impact. In order to
encourage and enable such conversations there are a variety of online
communication channels available. Below, an overview of such channels
and tools for doing more with them are included:


Social media – one of the easiest methods of
starting to interact with a target audience is to use social media.
Social media is a broad term used to refer to a number of channels of
varying uses, levels of interactivity and so on; here are a number of
the most popular platforms:


Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, and Vimeo.


If you need some advice on how to make the most of social media, try the following guides:


Social Media for Academics – Practical guidance on using social channels.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de




Social Media in Academia – A thorough discussion of the use of social media by academics.


Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de








Here are some useful websites to stay up to date with the latest news, thinking and research in social media: Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today and SocialTimes.


Mark Kuchner also has a great post on using Facebook on marketingforscientists.com.


Email – Despite the profusion of different social
media channels, email is still regarded as the best place in which to
engage with an audience and have genuine conversations (research
sources: #1 #2 #3). Here are some useful tools to take your conversations off your site and into the inbox:


  • MailChimp – a highly intuitive and well-designed mailing list option with limited free use.
  • ​AWeber – a very popular email marketing service. AWeber offers a free course that includes various email templates for you to adapt and use.
  • ConvertKit – a more powerful platform for those with larger blogs.
Back to contents




Promoting and distributing your academic content

If you are happy with the content and management of your blog, and
have put some thought into how to facilitate conversations with your
target audience, the next thing to consider is how to attract that
audience in the first place. Using social media, explored in the
previous section, is a great means of getting the word out but there are
other techniques you might want to explore, and here are a few tools
and resources to help:


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – SEO is a large
and complex topic, but essentially it is the practice of optimising
specific pieces of content for target “keywords” (which can be single
words or multi-word phrases), and building links to them, so that when
people type them in to search engines, your content shows up near the
top of the results. The Google Keyword Planner Tool provides useful data to help select specific keywords. Alternatives to the Google tool include KeywordTool.io, SEO Book and Wordtracker.


​Google Trends
– Another free tool from Google, Trends enables you to compare the
relative number of recent searchers of two or more different keywords.
It can be used to find out how people are referring to specific things
in your field for example, which can help you choose better keywords.


The Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin – if using WordPress, a great way to optimise individual posts and pages is the free SEO for WordPress plugin.
It provides guidance on how to edit pages and posts to boost their SEO
potential while drafting them, along with other features that will help
create better content.


Content reuse – once a blog post is written and
published it doesn’t have to die an archive-related death; instead reuse
the text, images and ideas on other platforms and in other channels.
Blog posts can be reworked for or republished on (along with a link
explaining “First published on XXX”) platforms such as Medium, Quora (on which you can also answer specialist questions and share relevant links to your content as part of the answer), or on LinkedIn,
where they will be linked directly to your professional profile. Blog
posts can also be turned into a presentation and published on SlideShare too.


Back to contents




Staying up to date

Keeping abreast of fast moving research fields isn’t easy. But as a
professional academic dedicated to sharing your knowledge, it is
important to try and stay up to date with some of the academic
publishing and media coverage of your field, particularly if your own
work or content is referred to. Here are a number of tools that can be
put to work for you:


Monitor keywords – the free Google alerts
tool enables monitoring of specific keywords used on the web. Simply
access it with a Google account and select some keywords to track (such
as your name, your project or research group’s name and/or key terms
relevant to your research) and you’ll get emails whenever new pieces of
content that contain those words are indexed in Google (which is usually
not long after they are published online).


Monitor publications – in a similar way to Google
Alerts, it is possible to monitor and track different aspects of
scholarly publications noted by Google (e.g. follow a particular author,
keywords in an article title etc.) using Google Scholar Alerts. Alternative tools for searching for papers include OAfindr, Scopus, ​PubGet and CiteSeerX.


In addition, here’s an excellent post from Jisc featuring 10 scholarly search engines that go beyond Google.


To find scholarly blog posts on a specific topic, try the ACI Scholarly Blog Index tool which is part of a wider suite of tools and services for academic bloggers.


Stay up to date with websites – a very useful tool for following other blogs and websites that publish regularly is the free RSS reader ​Feedly.


Stay up to date with social media – there are a
number of social media management tools available to help monitor
different social channels. Two of the best known are TweetDeck and Hootsuite.


Back to contents




Improving research and tracking impact

A blog’s usefulness doesn’t have to stop at promoting research. A
carefully planned academic blog can form part of an over-arching
strategy for making the most of research activities and tracking their
impact. The following tools and resources might just be able to help:


The ​Connected Researcher
– An extensive list of digital tools for researchers, featuring tools
to help with everything from collecting data, to enabling better grant
writing, to evaluating peer-reviewed research. Collated by Dr. Thomas Crouzier.


The Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Toolkit – a comprehensive collection of 400+ resources for research and innovation.


being-a-scholar-in-the-digita-era_growresaBeing a Scholar in the Digital Era – How digital tools and practices are changing academic research.





Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.de








To track the discussions around and references to academic content Altmetric has a variety of tools and products such as the Altmetric bookmarklet which lets you see how often, and where, a paper has been shared online directly from your browser.


Another tool for tracking online coverage is Impactstory. Their page on the data used is very useful, as is a free ebook, The 30-Day Impact Challenge.


MyScienceWork – a global platform, and associated suite of technology solutions, for promoting and sharing research.


Editage
provides a range of services designed to help train and support
researchers at every stage of the publication process. The
organisation’s blog Editage Insights also features a range of useful advice and resources such as:


Back to contents




Examples of academic blogs

In this section are a range of links to help you learn about academic
blog writing and management by example. Here are a few selected sites
from today’s academic blogosphere:


The Academic Blog Portal on the academic blogs wiki contains links to dozens of academic blogs in a number of fields.


The Guardian’s higher education blogs network provides a broader range of blogs mainly focused on higher education and research issues in the UK.


Nature.com blogs feature a number of blogs and articles from various scientific-related fields and writers.


Research Blogging has a constantly updated list of posts from a number of academics writing about peer reviewed research.


The Thesis Whisperer also has a large list of blogs started by PhD students.


Back to contents




Useful articles, resources and websites

In this section is a list of links to information on academic and scholarly blogging that you might find useful.


​Illustrated Blogging Advice for Researchers – an excellent collection of advice from a wide range of bloggers enhanced by some really good illustrations.


The LSE Impact Blog
– a very high quality resource to learn about how different
communication strategies and tactics, including blogging, can be used to
maximise the impact of research.


​Research on academic blogging: what does it reveal? – A very comprehensive collection of research on blogging by academics.


The value of blogging – an interesting post on why academics should take up blogging.


Hypotheses – a publication platform for academic blogs run by the Centre for Open Electronic Publishing (Cléo, France).




Back to contents




Feedback, changes and disclaimer

Add your favourite tool

Add your favourite tool, book, resource or website, or feedback (let
us know if anything is broken, missing or inaccurate, and we’ll fix it
as soon as we can) on any of the contents of this list below:


















 

Get notified of any changes

To stay up to date, join the Growresa email list and we’ll let you
know if there are any updates to the Academic Blogging Toolbox or when
related content is published (you’ll also get our free guide: How to
Build an Online Audience for Research featuring exclusive advice, tips,
techniques and tool recommendations from nine experts in the field):








Disclaimer

We take no responsibility for the content of
external sites. The list is kept as current as possible but we cannot
accept any liability if any links are broken or out of date. These links
are our decision only but their inclusion does not imply an endorsement
or recommendation of any kind. Please note that some of the links on
this page are “affiliate links” – if a purchase is made using these
links Growresa will earn a small commission without the purchaser paying
anything extra. A percentage of any such earnings is lent by Growresa
on the microfinancing platform Kiva.org, on a non-profit basis, to entrepreneurs in the developing world.



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Academic Blogging Toolbox - Growresa

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Improving Research Visibility Part 5: Blogging and Online Magazines



Improving Research Visibility Part 5: Blogging and Online Magazines

byNader Ale Ebrahim
The
long run research findings will be disseminated through publications.
However, researchers may have created some local content which should be
circulated immediately. Online magazines and blogs can be solutions
through content curation to immediately circulate the research findings.
Academic blogs help researchers to establish expertise, forge new
intellectual bonds in their discipline, and give them a place to test
out new ideas and promote their research. Blog services provide your
research seen by more non-academics than your peer reviewed papers will
ever be. The importance of Academic Blog is not to be dismissed. Blogs
are a vital tool for academics to publicly communicate about research
developments and findings. Academics can also gain feedback from other
peers, as well as expand their networks and enhance research visibility
and impact. This presentation will provide guidelines on Academic
Blogging and Online Magazine as tools for increasing the article
visibility and citations. Increased visibility online helps your offline
recognition as well.


Improving Research Visibility Part 5: Blogging and Online Magazines

Monday, 22 May 2017

LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 4: Paper submission & dissemination



LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 4: Paper submission & dissemination

byNader Ale Ebrahim
“Research
Tools” enable researchers to collect, organize, analyze, visualize and
publicized research outputs. Dr. Nader has collected over 700 tools
that enable students to follow the correct path in research and to
ultimately produce high-quality research outputs with more accuracy and
efficiency. It is assembled as an interactive Web-based mind map, titled
“Research Tools”, which is updated periodically. “Research Tools”
consists of a hierarchical set of nodes. It has four main nodes: (1)
Searching the literature, (2) Writing a paper, (3) Targeting suitable
journals, and (4) Enhancing visibility and impact of the research. In
this workshop some tools from parts 3 & 4 (Targeting suitable
journals & Enhancing visibility and impact of the research) will be
described. The e-skills learned from the workshop are useful across
various research disciplines and research institutions.
Cite  as:

Ale Ebrahim, Nader (2017): LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 4: Paper submission & dissemination. figshare.

https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5028152.v1 Retrieved: 08 14, May 22, 2017 (GMT)


LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 4: Paper submission & dissemination

LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 3: Writing Literature Review



LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 3: Writing Literature Review

byNader Ale Ebrahim
“Research
Tools” enable researchers to collect, organize, analyze, visualize and
publicized research outputs. Dr. Nader has collected over 700 tools
that enable students to follow the correct path in research and to
ultimately produce high-quality research outputs with more accuracy and
efficiency. It is assembled as an interactive Web-based mind map, titled
“Research Tools”, which is updated periodically. “Research Tools”
consists of a hierarchical set of nodes. It has four main nodes: (1)
Searching the literature, (2) Writing a paper, (3) Targeting suitable
journals, and (4) Enhancing visibility and impact of the research. In
this workshop some tools from the part 2 (Writing a paper) will be
described. The e-skills learned from the workshop are useful across
various research disciplines and research institutions.
Cite as: Ale Ebrahim, Nader (2017): LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 3: Writing Literature Review. figshare.

https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5028140.v1 Retrieved: 08 14, May 22, 2017 (GMT)

LITERATURE REVIEWING WITH RESEARCH TOOLS, Part 3: Writing Literature Review

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The One Belt, One Road Initiative's Potential Impact on Global Research Collaboration

 Source: https://www.elsevier.com/research-intelligence/campaigns/onebeltoneroad









The One Belt, One Road Initiative's Potential Impact on Global Research Collaboration

The
One Belt, One Road initiative kick-started by China focuses on
improving the connectivity and co-operation of the countries involved.

Two
routes will be created between Asia and Europe, connecting over 63% of
the world’s population and passing through 65 countries.


The
unique strategy is designed to stimulate corporate partnerships within
the Belt & Road countries, resulting in increased international
research collaboration.

Using 2011-2016 data from Scopus and
analyzed in SciVal, we examined the cross-collaborative research efforts
being made between the 65 countries in the One Belt, One Road
initiative, focusing particularly on the research being developed with
China.



China's One Belt, One Road International Research Collaborators


The map below shows the Silk road economic belt and 21st century
maritime silk road - scroll down to read facts about key collaborator
countries.



Key:

Silk road economic beltSilk road economic belt

21st century maritime silk road21st century maritime silk road

Download map (view in new window)



Poland

Most prolific European Belt & Road collaborator

  • Co-authored Publications: 4,497
  • FWCI: 3.47
  • Scopus Views: 252,518
  • 3rd largest global Belt & Road collaborator in Physics and Astronomy: 2,589

Russian Federation

2nd largest Belt & Road collaborator

  • Co-authored Publications: 7,096
  • FWCI: 3.00
  • Scopus Views: 312,243
  • Largest Belt & Road collaborator in Physics and Astronomy: 3,975
3rd largest Belt & Road collaborator in:

  • Engineering: 1,076
  • Materials Science: 876

Thailand

7th largest Belt & Road collaborator

  • Co-authored Publications: 3,279
  • FWCI: 2.38
  • Scopus Views: 128,435
  • 3rd largest global Belt & Road collaborator in in Medicine: 1,315

Saudi Arabia

Middle East’s most prolific collaborator

  • Co-authored Publications: 5,653
  • FWCI: 3.59
  • Scopus Views: 201,562
  • 5th largest Belt & Road collaborator in Medicine: 662
2nd largest Belt & Road collaborator in:

  • Engineering: 1,236
  • Materials Science: 1,009
  • Computer Science: 1,045

India

4th largest Belt & Road collaborator

  • Co-authored Publications: 6,650
  • FWCI: 3.50
  • Scopus Views: 283,656
  • 2nd largest Belt & Road collaborator in Medicine: 1,342
  • 3rd largest Belt & Road collaborator in Computer Science: 560
  • 4th largest Belt & Road collaborator in Physics and Astronomy 2,154
5th largest Belt & Road collaborator in:

  • Engineering: 868
  • Materials Science: 584

Singapore

The world’s most prolific Belt & Road collaborator

  • Co-authored Publications: 20,016
  • FWCI: 2.41
  • Scopus Views: 445,839
  • 2nd largest Belt & Road collaborator in Physics and Astronomy: 3,831
Largest Belt & Road collaborator in:

  • Engineering: 6,796
  • Medicine: 2,503
  • Materials Science: 3,971
  • Computer Science: 5,442

One Belt, One Road Publications by Country


China is the most prolific producer of scholarly output, compared to the other countries located on the Belt & Road. In 2016, China produced 479,737 publications.

That is 246% more than India, the country with the 2nd highest research output of the Belt & Road countries.


China's Most Prolific Research Areas (2011-2016)


Over one-fifth of China's scholarly output relates to Engineering (973,097 publications), followed by Medicine (440,948 publications) and Materials Science (424,882 publications).

The
One Belt, One Road initiative should result in an increase in the
co-authored publications being produced with other countries on the Belt
& Road.

Co-authored Publications (2011-2016)


Concerning China's top 5 research
areas, Singapore is the most prolific collaborator. For example in the
field of Engineering they have co-authored 6,796 publications compared
to 1,236 co-authored publications with Saudi Arabia.

All data taken from SciVal – 5 April 2017 (Scopus data up to 3 March 2017).

About SciVal: SciVal offers quick, easy access to the research performance of 8,500 research institutions and 220 countries worldwide.

About Scopus: Scopus
is the world’s leading abstract and citation database, and is used by
institutions and governments, as well as for university rankings around
the world.


The One Belt, One Road Initiative's Potential Impact on Global Research Collaboration

Friday, 19 May 2017

The top 50 science stars of Twitter | Science | AAAS

 Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2014/09/top-50-science-stars-twitter














Martyn Green






The top 50 science stars of Twitter









 Genomicist
Neil Hall sparked an online tempest this summer by proposing a
“Kardashian Index,” or K-index—a comparison of a scientist’s number of
Twitter followers with their citations. Scientists with a high score on
the index, named after the reality TV star Kim Kardashian,
one of the most popular celebrities on the social media platform,
should “get off Twitter” and write more papers, suggested Hall, who
works at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.


Though Hall says he meant his K-index lightheartedly, his article in Genome Biology
sparked a Twitter storm of criticism. So just who are the Kardashians
of science, and is Hall’s criticism justified? Hall tactfully declined
to provide a K-index for anyone specific, but Science was
curious about the names and the numbers. We have compiled a list of the
50 most followed scientists on the social media platform and their
academic citation counts—and calculated their K-index by drawing on
citation data from Google Scholar (A fuller explanation of how we compiled the list is below, at the end of the full story).


The top three science stars of Twitter:

(Based on followers)
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson1. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

    2,400,000 followers @neiltyson

    Citations: 151 K-index: 11129

    Total number of tweets: 3,962
    Hayden Planetarium, United States


  • Brian Cox2. Brian Cox, Physicist

    1,440,000 followers @ProfBrianCox

    Citations: 33,301 K-index: 1188

    Total number of tweets: 10,300
    University of Manchester, United Kingdom


  • Richard Dawkins3. Richard Dawkins, Biologist

    1,020,000 followers @RichardDawkins

    Citations: 49,631 K-index: 740

    Total number of tweets: 19,000
    University of Oxford, United Kingdom


See the full top 50 list.
Rather than identifying “Science Kardashians”—those who are, as Hall
put it, “famous for being famous”—the top 50 list reveals that a
majority of the science Twitter stars spend much, if not all, of their
time on science communication. For them, Twitter popularity can amplify
their efforts in public outreach. A case in point is Neil deGrasse
Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and host of
the science TV show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. With more than
2.4 million followers and fewer than 200 citations, the astrophysicist
is undoubtedly the top-ranking celebrity scientist on Twitter—and has
the highest K-index of anyone on the list. Yet few would consider his
Twitter fame unwarranted.

Although the index is named for a woman, Science’s survey
highlights the poor representation of female scientists on Twitter,
which Hall hinted at in his commentary. Of the 50 most followed
scientists, only four are women. Astronomer Pamela Gay of Southern
Illinois University, Edwardsville, whose more than 17,000 Twitter
followers put her 33rd on the list, says the result doesn’t surprise her
because society still struggles to recognize women as leaders in
science. Female scientists are also more likely to face sexist attacks
online that can discourage their participation, she adds. “At some
point, you just get fed up with all the ‘why you are ugly’ or ‘why you
are hot’ comments.”


Twitter stardom need not exclude research achievements, as our top 50
Twitter list shows. Many have thousands of citations and seven of the
people listed also appear on two recent citation-based rankings of
influential scientists, the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list and Scholarometer’s top 100 authors ranking. Even so, most high-performing scientists have not embraced Twitter. Science
sampled Twitter usage among 50 randomly chosen living scientists from
the Scholarometer list. Only a fifth of the scientists have an
identifiable Twitter profile.


Even some who do dislike the medium. Chad Mirkin of Northwestern
University in Evanston, Illinois, the highest ranking chemist on
Scholarometer’s list, considers Twitter a waste of precious time that
he’d much prefer spending on reading and writing scientific papers. “A
lot of social media is … time spent aggrandizing one’s accomplishment,”
says Mirkin, who registered on Twitter just to keep up with his son’s
tennis scores. The linguist Noam Chomsky, the most famous living scientist by some measures, has also repeatedly criticized social media for reducing serious public discourse to, well, 140 characters.


So why do the highly cited researchers who are also Twitter science
stars make the time to engage in social media? Geneticist Eric Topol of
the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California (17th place;
44,800 followers), who boasts more than 150,000 citations, says he once
thought the social media platform was only for “silly stuff” like
celebrity news. Then he tried Twitter during a TEDMED conference in
2009, as a tool to gauge reactions to his talk. Now, he starts his
workday browsing through his Twitter feed for news and noteworthy
research in his field. During the day, he checks Twitter several times
and spends another 10 to 20 minutes on an evening roundup. “It actually
may be the most valuable time [I spend] in terms of learning things that
are going on in the world of science and medicine,” says Topol, who
reciprocates by daily tweeting papers, presentations, and more to his
followers.


Psychologist Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University (36th; 15,500
followers) views Twitter as a natural extension of his other public
outreach efforts, which include hosting the PBS science documentary, This Emotional Life.
For him, Twitter is a virtual classroom connecting netizens worldwide
who are interested in the psychology of happiness. “It’s another
teaching tool,” he says.


Like Topol, Jonathan Eisen of the University of California, Davis
(25th; 24,900 followers), says he did not start out as a Twitter fan. An
enthusiast of open access and exchange, Eisen participated in
scientific discussion forums, such as newsgroups, even before the days
of the World Wide Web. But Twitter’s 140-character word limit initially
seemed both “arbitrary and useless” to him, he says. It was for purely
coincidental reasons—checking out details of a visit by famed cyclist
Lance Armstrong to Davis, California—that the microbiologist signed up
for an account in 2008.


But after 20 minutes of perusing news on the social media platform
that day, Eisen says, he was hooked. “In a minute, I can skim through a
hundred Twitter posts. … It’s pretty amazing for getting a feel of
what’s going on,” says Eisen, who now daily spends anywhere from 5
minutes to 8 hours on Twitter, in addition to running a blog. Yet Eisen
also has close to 42,000 citations under his belt.


Eisen says that consistently tweeting ongoing research at his lab has
helped attract graduate students as well as two grants for science
communication. He suggests an active social media presence might even
aid applications for research funding, as it demonstrates a commitment
to public outreach. But the spontaneity of Twitter can backfire, too.
Eisen, for one, has live-tweeted brusque criticism at academic
conferences that came back to bite him. “You can seem like a jerk, an
idiot, or both,” he says.


The temporal, attention-grabbing nature of Twitter posts also makes
them ill-suited for nuanced, in-depth scientific discussions. Gilbert
says he prefers to tweet materials that appeal to a general audience,
rather than complex scientific papers. Likewise, Eisen reserves lengthy
discussions for old-fashioned phone calls and uses Twitter to instead
link to blog posts and other, longer materials.


Still, he and others credit Twitter as a crowdsourcing platform for
new ideas and research. Topol says he relies on the “army of Web
crawlers” on Twitter to bring him the latest, most noteworthy research
in medical science. His own tweets, mostly about papers and
presentations he finds interesting, also form an archive that can be
extracted with a little tech savvy.


The social media tool also functions as “another dimension of peer
review,” Topol says. Instead of waiting for the old letters to the
editor, scientists can go to Twitter for rapid critique of their
research. “Authors who are not willing to get engaged on social media
are missing out on a significant opportunity,” he says.


The K-index gets it wrong by suggesting that science communication
and research productivity are incompatible, says Albert-László Barabási,
a network theorist at Northeastern University in Boston who studies
social media. Research on altmetrics—alternative metrics for measuring
scientific impact—has found no link
between social media metrics such as number of tweets and traditional
impact metrics such as citations, he says. “We should really not mix the
two … because they really probe different aspects of a scientist’s
personality.”


For his part, Hall says others have read too much into his satire,
which originated after seeing conference organizers factor Twitter
follower numbers into speaker considerations. “I don’t mean to criticize
anyone for having a lot of Twitter followers,” he says. “My criticism
is only of using it as a metric on research scientists.”


It might be premature, in any case, for the scientific community to
worry about “Science Kardashians” when it faces a more pressing
challenge of staying relevant in public discussions. Even Tyson’s
Twitter popularity is dwarfed by that of the real Kim Kardashian, who
boasts 10 times as many followers.


*SURVEY METHODS


The list of most followed scientists compiled here is far from
scientific. To identify Twitter science stars, we began with celebrity
scientists such as Tyson and checked out which scientists they followed.
We also referenced online lists of scientists to follow on Twitter,
such as this one by
The Huffington Post.
If we’ve missed someone who belongs on the top 50 list, do let us know
in the comment section. Follower number is, of course, a very crude
proxy of influence on Twitter, but it’s the most accessible metric for
the purpose of this story.



The question of who counts as a scientist is itself a matter of
debate. As a general guideline, we included only those who have
completed a Ph.D. degree and published at least one peer-reviewed paper
in a peer-reviewed journal. As an exception to this rule, we excluded
professional journalists who fit the above criteria.



We recorded the number of Twitter followers for our list on 15
September. To tally the number of citations for each scientist, we over
the past month looked up their Google Scholar profiles or, for those
without a profile, used estimates produced by the Publish or Perish
software, developed by business professor Anne-Wil Harzing of ESCP
Europe. Due to limitations of both methods, the citation numbers are
only rough estimates. For example, there’s no easy way to distinguish
physicist Brian Cox of the University of Manchester in the United
Kingdom from physiologist Brian Cox of the University of Toronto in
Canada in calculating the former’s citation count. Seven on our top 50
list appear on either the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list (*) or the Scholarometer’s top 100 authors (+) ranking, and each is noted with a symbol.



The Kardashian Index is calculated as follows: In his commentary,
using data gathered on 40 scientists, Hall derived a formula for
calculating the number of Twitter followers a scientist should have
given one’s citation count. The K-index is the ratio of the scientist’s
actual follower number to the follower number “warranted” by the
citation count.



An Excel document with all the data collected is here.


 The top 50 science stars of Twitter

Read the full story on this list.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson1. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist

    2,400,000 followers @neiltyson

    Citations: 151 K-index: 11129

    Total number of tweets: 3,962
    Hayden Planetarium, United States


  • Brian Cox2. Brian Cox, Physicist

    1,440,000 followers @ProfBrianCox

    Citations: 33,301 K-index: 1188

    Total number of tweets: 10,300
    University of Manchester, United Kingdom


  • Richard Dawkins3. Richard Dawkins, Biologist

    1,020,000 followers @RichardDawkins

    Citations: 49,631 K-index: 740

    Total number of tweets: 19,000
    University of Oxford, United Kingdom


  • Ben Goldacre4. Ben Goldacre, Physician

    341,000 followers @bengoldacre

    Citations: 1,086 K-index: 841

    Total number of tweets: 47,300
    London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom


  • Phil Plait5. Phil Plait, Astronomer

    320,000 followers @BadAstronomer

    Citations: 254 K-index: 1256

    Total number of tweets: 47,000
    Bad Astronomy, United States


  • Michio Kaku6. Michio Kaku, Theoretical physicist

    310,000 followers @michiokaku

    Citations: 5,281 K-index: 461

    Total number of tweets: 1,130
    The City College of New York, United States


  • Sam Harris7. Sam Harris, Neuroscientist

    224,000 followers @SamHarrisOrg

    Citations: 2,416 K-index: 428

    Total number of tweets: 2,600
    Project Reason, United States


  • Hans Rosling8. Hans Rosling, Global health scientist

    180,000 followers @HansRosling

    Citations: 1,703 K-index: 384

    Total number of tweets: 2,708
    Karolinska Institute, Sweden


  • Tim Berners-Lee9. Tim Berners-Lee, Computer scientist

    179,000 followers @timberners_lee

    Citations: 51,204 K-index: 129

    Total number of tweets: 542
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States


  • P.Z. Myers10. P.Z. Myers, Biologist

    155,000 followers @pzmyers

    Citations: 1,364 K-index: 355

    Total number of tweets: 25,400
    University of Minnesota, Morris, United States


  • Steven Pinker11. Steven Pinker, Cognitive scientist

    142,000 followers @sapinker

    Citations: 49,933 K-index: 103

    Total number of tweets: 1,612
    Harvard University, United States


  • Richard Wiseman12. Richard Wiseman, Psychologist

    134,000 followers @RichardWiseman

    Citations: 4,687 K-index: 207

    Total number of tweets: 22,400
    University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom


  • Lawrence M. Krauss13. Lawrence M. Krauss, Theoretical physicist

    99,700 followers @LKrauss1

    Citations: 10,155 K-index: 120

    Total number of tweets: 1,548
    Arizona State University, United States


  • Atul Gawande14. Atul Gawande, Surgeon/public health scientist

    96,800 followers @Atul_Gawande

    Citations: 13,763 K-index: 106

    Total number of tweets: 2,118
    Harvard University, United States


  • Oliver Sacks15. Oliver Sacks, Neurologist

    76,300 followers @OliverSacks

    Citations: 13,883 K-index: 83

    Total number of tweets: 746
    New York University, United States


  • Dan Ariely*16. Dan Ariely*, Psychologist/behavioral economist

    73,000 followers @danariely

    Citations: 16,307 K-index: 76

    Total number of tweets: 1,091
    Duke University, United States


  • Eric Topol*17. Eric Topol*, Geneticist

    44,800 followers @EricTopol

    Citations: 151,281 K-index: 23

    Total number of tweets: 4,966
    The Scripps Research Institute, United States


  • Brian Greene18. Brian Greene, Theoretical physicist

    38,700 followers @bgreene

    Citations: 11,133 K-index: 45

    Total number of tweets: 191
    Columbia University, United States


  • Marcus du Sautoy19. Marcus du Sautoy, Mathematician

    34,200 followers @MarcusduSautoy

    Citations: 1,461 K-index: 77

    Total number of tweets: 3,555
    University of Oxford, United Kingdom


  • Sean Carroll20. Sean Carroll, Theoretical physicist

    33,200 followers @seanmcarroll

    Citations: 14,208 K-index: 36

    Total number of tweets: 7,295
    California Institute of Technology, United States


  • Robert Winston21. Robert Winston, Fertility scientist

    31,900 followers @ProfRWinston

    Citations: 7,324 K-index: 43

    Total number of tweets: 445
    Imperial College London, United Kingdom


  • Bruce Betts22. Bruce Betts, Planetary scientist

    28,500 followers @RandomSpaceFact

    Citations: 91 K-index: 155

    Total number of tweets: 1,619
    The Planetary Society, United States


  • Carolyn Porco23. Carolyn Porco, Planetary scientist

    26,100 followers @carolynporco

    Citations: 2,717 K-index: 48

    Total number of tweets: 12,700
    Space Science Institute, United States


  • Sebastian Thrun+24. Sebastian Thrun+, Computer scientist

    25,200 followers @SebastianThrun

    Citations: 57,110 K-index: 17

    Total number of tweets: 185
    Stanford University, United States


  • Jonathan Eisen*25. Jonathan Eisen*, Biologist

    24,900 followers @phylogenomics

    Citations: 41,289 K-index: 19

    Total number of tweets: 46,100
    University of California, Davis, United States


  • J. Craig Venter26. J. Craig Venter, Genomicist

    23,500 followers @JCVenter

    Citations: 75,338 K-index: 15

    Total number of tweets: 365
    J. Craig Venter Institute, United States


  • Vaughan Bell27. Vaughan Bell, Neuroscientist

    23,500 followers @vaughanbell

    Citations: 821 K-index: 63

    Total number of tweets: 10,900
    King's College London, United Kingdom


  • Robert Simpson28. Robert Simpson, Astronomer

    21,500 followers @orbitingfrog

    Citations: 2,280 K-index: 42

    Total number of tweets: 11,500
    University of Oxford, United Kingdom


  • Michael E. Mann*29. Michael E. Mann*, Meteorologist

    20,900 followers @MichaelEMann

    Citations: 15,049 K-index: 22

    Total number of tweets: 20,000
    Pennsylvania State University, United States


  • Jerry Coyne30. Jerry Coyne, Biologist

    19,500 followers @Evolutionistrue

    Citations: 16,657 K-index: 20

    Total number of tweets: 7,711
    University of Chicago, United States


  • Gary King*31. Gary King*, Statistician

    19,400 followers @kinggary

    Citations: 36,311 K-index: 16

    Total number of tweets: 3,080
    Harvard University, United States


  • Mike Brown32. Mike Brown, Astronomer

    18,300 followers @plutokiller

    Citations: 7,870 K-index: 24

    Total number of tweets: 9,764
    California Institute of Technology, United States


  • Pamela L. Gay33. Pamela L. Gay, Astronomer

    17,800 followers @starstryder

    Citations: 238 K-index: 71

    Total number of tweets: 12,700
    Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, United States


  • Jean Francois Gariépy34. Jean Francois Gariépy, Neuroscientist

    17,700 followers @JFGariepy

    Citations: 153 K-index: 82

    Total number of tweets: 3,231
    Duke University, United States


  • Bob Metcalfe35. Bob Metcalfe, Computer scientist

    16,400 followers @BobMetcalfe

    Citations: 424 K-index: 55

    Total number of tweets: 16,100
    University of Texas, Austin, United States


  • Daniel Gilbert+36. Daniel Gilbert+, Psychologist

    15,500 followers @DanTGilbert

    Citations: 26,752 K-index: 14

    Total number of tweets: 1,294
    Harvard University, United States


  • Daniel Levitin37. Daniel Levitin, Neuroscientist

    15,400 followers @danlevitin

    Citations: 5,688 K-index: 22

    Total number of tweets: 3,036
    McGill University, Canada


  • Andrew Maynard38. Andrew Maynard, Environmental health scientist

    15,300 followers @2020science

    Citations: 10,411 K-index: 18

    Total number of tweets: 16,200
    University of Michigan Risk Science Center, United States


  • Paul Bloom39. Paul Bloom, Psychologist

    15,100 followers @paulbloomatyale

    Citations: 14,135 K-index: 16

    Total number of tweets: 1,973
    Yale University, United States


  • Matt Lieberman40. Matt Lieberman, Neuroscientist

    14,500 followers @social_brains

    Citations: 12,763 K-index: 16

    Total number of tweets: 3,088
    University of California, Los Angeles, United States


  • Seth Shostak41. Seth Shostak, Astronomer

    14,500 followers @SethShostak

    Citations: 424 K-index: 48

    Total number of tweets: 294
    SETI Institute, United States


  • Daniel MacArthur42. Daniel MacArthur, Genomicist

    14,100 followers @dgmacarthur

    Citations: 6,884 K-index: 19

    Total number of tweets: 15,600
    Harvard Medical School, United States


  • John Allen Paulos43. John Allen Paulos, Mathematician

    14,000 followers @JohnAllenPaulos

    Citations: 1,489 K-index: 31

    Total number of tweets: 4,144
    Temple University, United States


  • Ves Dimov44. Ves Dimov, Immunologist

    13,900 followers @DrVes

    Citations: 211 K-index: 58

    Total number of tweets: 32,200
    University of Chicago, United States


  • Simon Baron-Cohen45. Simon Baron-Cohen, Psychopathologist

    13,600 followers @sbaroncohen

    Citations: 84,132 K-index: 8

    Total number of tweets: 119
    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


  • Amy Mainzer46. Amy Mainzer, Astronomer

    13,600 followers @AmyMainzer

    Citations: 1,444 K-index: 31

    Total number of tweets: 2,221
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States


  • Brian Krueger47. Brian Krueger, Genomicist

    12,500 followers @LabSpaces

    Citations: 154 K-index: 58

    Total number of tweets: 36,700
    Duke University, United States


  • Karen James48. Karen James, Biologist

    12,200 followers @kejames

    Citations: 1,007 K-index: 31

    Total number of tweets: 61,800
    Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, United States


  • Michael Eisen49. Michael Eisen, Biologist

    11,800 followers @mbeisen

    Citations: 68,785 K-index: 8

    Total number of tweets: 16300
    University of California, Berkeley, United States


  • Micah Allen50. Micah Allen, Neuroscientist

    11,600 followers @neuroconscience

    Citations: 81 K-index: 66

    Total number of tweets: 21,900
    University College London, United Kingdom


Correction, 17 September, 12:22 p.m.: Some affiliations and areas of expertise have been corrected.






The top 50 science stars of Twitter | Science | AAAS