Disciplinary Variations in Altmetric Coverage of Scholarly Articles

by   Sumit Kumar Banshal, et al.

The popular social media platforms are now making it possible for scholarly articles to be shared rapidly in different forms, which in turn can significantly improve the visibility and reach of articles. Many authors are now utilizing the social media platforms to disseminate their scholarly articles (often as pre- or post- prints) beyond the paywalls of journals. It is however not very well established if the level of social media coverage and attention of scholarly articles is same across all research disciplines or there exist discipline-wise variations. This paper aims to explore the disciplinary variations in coverage and altmetric attention by analyzing a significantly large amount of data from Web of Science and Altmetric.com. Results obtained show interesting patterns. Medical Sciences and Biology are found to account for more than 50 coverage, disciplines like Biology, Medical Science and Multidisciplinary Sciences have more than 60 disciplines like Engineering, Mathematics and Material Science have less than 25 vary across different altmetric platforms, with Twitter and Mendeley having much higher overall coverage than Facebook and News. Disciplinary variations in coverage are also found in different altmetric platforms, with variations as large as 7.5 Twitter. The paper also looks into the possible role of source of publication in altmetric coverage level of articles. Interestingly, some journals are found to have a higher altmetric coverage in comparison to the average altmetric coverage level of that discipline.


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