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Tweeting their own horn: Author self-promotion on Twitter increases research dissemination

Studies shared by the authors on Twitter optimize knowledge translation

BANGKOK – Researchers from the University of Toronto presented a new study at CHEST Congress 2019 Thailand in Bangkok that aimed to determine the effect of authors’ self-promotion on the social media site, Twitter, in regards to the dissemination of their research.

Tweets referencing scientific articles published between June 2011-January 2017 were gathered through Altmetric.com. The study included articles from the top seven respiratory and critical care journals: American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, CHEST®, Critical Care, Critical Care Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine and Thorax. Researchers compared publication and Twitter author names to determine whether authors tweeted their own work. The mean number of tweets at one year after publication were compared between author-tweeted articles versus non-author-tweeted articles, and data were collected on time between publication of the article and the first tweet. 

During this period, 5,383 publications were identified and analyzed.  Author-tweeted publications had a higher number of tweets at one year post publication than publications not tweeted by authors (21±3.3 vs. 8.2±0.38 tweets). Peak tweeting for publications occurred between 0-2 days post-publication for most journals. Although publications in each of these journals showed an increase in dissemination with author tweeting, publications in Lancet Respiratory Medicine benefited most from author-tweeting, with a 3.5-fold increase in tweets at one year (95% CI, 1.4-6.6) compared with publications whose authors did not tweet their studies.

“Authors may use Twitter strategically to promote their work and thus optimize knowledge translation in the future,” said Dr. Keith Gunaratne, lead researcher.

Further results from this study will be shared at CHEST Congress 2019 in Bangkok on Friday, April 12, at 3:00 p.m., in the Exhibition Hall. The study abstract can be viewed on the journal CHEST® website.

About CHEST Congress 2019 Thailand 

CHEST Congress 2019 is a global event connecting clinicians from around the world specializing in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, held April 10-12, 2019, in Bangkok, Thailand, with the support of the Thoracic Society of Thailand. The American College of Chest Physicians, publisher of the journal CHEST®, is the global leader in advancing best patient outcomes through innovative chest medicine education, clinical research and team-based care. Its mission is to champion the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chest diseases through education, communication and research. It serves as an essential connection to clinical knowledge and resources for its 19,000 members from around the world who provide patient care in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. For more information about CHEST Congress 2019, visit chestcongress.chestnet.org, or follow CHEST meeting hashtag, #CHESTCongress19, on social media.