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Talk It Up on Twitter

Being active on Twitter may help researchers garner paper citations, according to a new study.

Researchers from the US and Canada analyzed the association between papers' citation rates, Altmetric Attention Scores, and other bibliometric data such as journal impact factor and year published for 8,322 papers published in 687 different journals. The Altmetric Attention Scores captures a paper's mentions in a range of sources, including the news, but also social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

For this set of ecology and conservation papers, the researchers found that citation rates were positively correlated with Altmetric Attention Scores during the 2005 to 2009 period, as well as between 2010 and 2015, though to a lesser extent, as they report today in PeerJ.

"There's a big hype when a paper comes out, but then there is this underwhelming lull for a year or two as you wait for citations to accumulate, so you don't really know whether your science is reaching people," first author Clayton Lamb from the University of Alberta says in a statement. "We quantified whether science communication may correlate with more citations. In the case of ecology and conservation science, it looks like it does."