A study from the University of Montreal in Canada that examined “tweeted” peer-review articles calls into question what qualifies as popular in scholarly articles.
An analysis of Twitter mentions of scholarly articles showed that the highest number of tweets about an article does not correspond to the articles with the highest number of citations in peer-reviewed journals.
Instead, highly cited scholarly works tended not to be popular on social media, the study found.
“The most popular scientific articles on Twitter stress health implications or have a humorous or surprising component. This suggests that articles having the broadest scientific impact do not have the widest distribution,” said Stefanie Haustein, the author of the study.