Twitter, Scholarly Communications, and Science Publications

Today I saw a great infographic about Twitter and Science publications.  You can read about the background of it here.

In addition to the compelling graphic itself, something that I found interesting, was that the creator of the infographic only shared it directly on twitter to begin with.

As I wanted to link to it, or have some persistent way to talk about it, it became clear that “just tweeting” was not enough to create this.

Many tweets about scholarly content are mostly promotional, For example, “Check out the new article about XYZ.”  Where there is a link to that article.

One statistic highlighted in the infographic is that:

“RT tweets linking to peer reviewed PDFs are retweeted 19% of the time, exponentially increasing dissemination.”

At Plum, we capture those references and create altmetrics around them.  But, what about when the idea itself is being talked about ONLY on Twitter?  How do we capture that interaction?

In this case, a quick tweet to @Katie_PhD, and a blog post with the infographic was created minutes later.  But if this hadn’t been done, and months later I wanted to find this infographic again, it would be exceedingly difficult to find.  The only place that a sharable version of the infographic existed was hosted on  I’m sure this happens all the time without anyone even thinking about it.

Interesting questions as scholarship happens across social media.

Note: the infographic is based on the preprint of The role of Twitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication