JOURNAL BROWSE
Search
Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Blog Citations as Indicators of the Societal Impact of Research: Content Analysis of Social Sciences Blogs
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
 Title & Authors
Blog Citations as Indicators of the Societal Impact of Research: Content Analysis of Social Sciences Blogs
Jamali, Hamid R.; Alimohammadi, Dariush;
  PDF(new window)
 Abstract
This article analyzes motivations behind social sciences blog posts citing journal articles in order to find out whether blog citations are good indicators for the societal impact or benefits of research. A random sample of 300 social sciences blog posts (out of 1,233 blog posts) from ResearchBlogging.org published between 01/01/2012 to 18/06/2014 were subjected to content analysis. The 300 blog posts had 472 references including 424 journal articles from 269 different journals. Sixty-one (22.68%) of all cited journals were from the social sciences and most of the journals with high frequency were highly cited general science journals such as PNAS and Science. Seventy-five percent of all journals were referenced only once. The average age of articles cited at the time of citation was 5.8 years. Discussion and criticism were the two main categories of motivations. Overall, the study shows the potential of blog citations as an altmetric measure and as a proxy for assessing the research impact. A considerable number of citation motivations in blogs such as disputing a belief, suggesting policies, providing a solution to a problem, reacting to media, criticism and the like seemed to support gaining societal benefits. Societal benefits are considered as helping stimulate new approaches to social issues, or informing public debate and policymaking. Lower self-citation (compared to some other altmetric measures such as tweets) and the fact that blogging involves generating content (i.e. an intellectual process) give them an advantage for altmetrics. However, limitations and contextual issues such as disciplinary differences and low uptake of altmetrics, in general, in scholarly communication should not be ignored when using blogs as a data source for altmetrics.
 Keywords
Blog Citations;Altmetrics;Research;Societal Impact;Weblogs;Social Sciences;
 Language
English
 Cited by
 References
1.
Bar-Ilan, J. (2005). Information hub blogs. Journal of Information Science, 31(4), 297-307. crossref(new window)

2.
Boaz, A., Fitzpatrick, S., & Shaw, B. (2008). Assessing the impact of research on policy: A review of the literature for a project on bridging research and policy through outcome evaluation. Policy Studies Institute & King's College London, February. Available at Retrieved 2014.08.20.

3.
Bornman, L. (2012). Measuring the societal impact of research. EMBO Reports, 13(8), 673-676. crossref(new window)

4.
Bornmann, L. (2015). Alternative metrics in scientometrics: a meta-analysis of research into three altmetrics. Scientometrics. In press, DOI: 10.1007/s11192-015-1565-y crossref(new window)

5.
Brutscher, P-B., Wooding, S., & Grant, J. (2008). Health Research Evaluation Frameworks: an international comparison. California, Santa Monica: RAND Corporation.

6.
Case, D. O., & Higgins, G. M. (2000). How can we investigate citation behavior? A study of reasons for citing literature in communication. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51(7), 635-645. crossref(new window)

7.
Cochran, W. G. (1977). Sampling techniques (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

8.
Costas, R., Zahedi, Z., & Wouters, P. (2014). Do altmetrics correlate with citations? Extensive comparison of altmetric indicators with citations from a multidisciplinary perspective. arXiv preprint arXiv:1401.4321. Available at Retrieved 2014.08.20.

9.
Eysenbach, G. (2011). Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on Twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13(4), e123. crossref(new window)

10.
Groth, P., & Gurney, T. (2010). Studying Scientific Discourse on the Web using Bibliometrics: A Chemistry Blogging Case Study. In: Proceedings of the WebSci10, Raleigh, NC, US. Available: Available at Retrieved 2015.03.30.

11.
Haustein, S., Bowman, T. D., Holmberg, K., Peters, I., & Lariviere, V. (2014a). Astrophysicists on Twitter: An in-depth analysis of tweeting and scientific publication behavior. Aslib Journal of Information Management, 66(3), 279-296. crossref(new window)

12.
Haustein, S., Peters, I., Sugimoto, C. R., Thelwall, M., & Lariviere, V. (2014b). Tweeting biomedicine: An analysis of tweets and citations in the biomedical literature. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(4), 656-669. crossref(new window)

13.
Holmberg, K., & Thelwall, M. (2014). Disciplinary differences in Twitter scholarly communication. Scientometrics, 101(2), 1027-1042. crossref(new window)

14.
Jamali, H. R., & Nikzad, M. (2011). Article title type and its relation with the number of downloads and citations. Scientometrics, 88(2), 653-661. crossref(new window)

15.
Kapseon, K. (2004). The motivation for citing specific references by social scientists in Korea: The phenomenon of co-existing references. Scientometrics, 59(1), 79-93. crossref(new window)

16.
Kim, S. (2009). Content analysis of cancer blog posts. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 97(4), 260-266.

17.
Kostoff, R. N. (1995). Research requirements for research impact assessment. Research Policy, 24(6), 869-882. crossref(new window)

18.
Marjanovic, S., Hanney, S., & Wooding, S. (2009). A historical reflection on research evaluation studies, their recurrent themes and challenges. California, Santa Monica: RAND Europe Technical Report. Available at Retrieved 2014.08.20.

19.
Nicholas, D., & Rowlands, I. (2011). Social media use in the research workflow. Information Services and Use, 31(1), 61-83.

20.
Priem, J., Parra, C., Piwowar, H., Groth, P., & Waagmeester, A. (2012). Uncovering impacts: a case study in using altmetrics tools. Available at Retrieved 2014.08.20.

21.
Priem, J., Piwowar, H. A., & Hemminger, B. H. (2011). Altmetrics in the wild: An exploratory study of impact metrics based on social media. Available at Retrieved 2014.08.20.

22.
Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2012). Research blogs and the discussion of scholarly information. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e35869. crossref(new window)

23.
Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2014a). Do blog citations correlate with a higher number of future citations? Research blogs as a potential source for alternative metrics. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 65(5), 1018-1027. crossref(new window)

24.
Shema, H., Bar-Ilan, J., & Thelwall, M. (2014b). How is Research Blogged? A Content Analysis Approach. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, (in press). doi: 10.1002/asi.23239.

25.
Shuai, X., Pepe, A., & Bollen, J. (2012). How the scientific community reacts to newly submitted preprints: Article downloads, twitter mentions, and citations. PLoS ONE, 7: e47523. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047523 crossref(new window)

26.
Thelwall, M., Haustein, S., Lariviere, V., & Sugimoto, C. R. (2013a). Do altmetrics work? Twitter and ten other social web services. PloS one, 8(5), e64841. 10.1371/journal.pone.0064841 crossref(new window)

27.
Thelwall, M., Tsou, A., Weingart, S., Holmberg, K., & Haustein, S. (2013b). Tweeting links to academic articles. Cybermetrics: International Journal of Scientometrics, Informetrics and Bibliometrics, 17, 1-8.

28.
Thornley, C., Watkinson, A., Nicholas, D., Volentine, R., Jamali, H. R., Herman, E., Allard, S., Levine, K. J., & Tenopir, C. (2015). The role of tust and authority in the citation behaviour of researchers. Information Research, 20(1), accepted in press.

29.
Tohidinasab, F., & Jamali, H. R. (2013). Why and Where Wikipedia is cited in journal articles? Journal of Scientometric Research, 2(3), 231-238.