A new PLOS One study from Indiana University researchers identified nearly 46,000 researchers present on Twitter and examined their demographics, what they shared on Twitter, and how they were connected to one another through Twitter networks.
By discipline, the Indiana team found that computer and information scientists as well as and social scientists were over-represented on Twitter, while mathematical, physical, and life scientists were under-represented.
Women, meanwhile, are better represented among researchers on Twitter than on papers, the researchers report, something senior author Cassidy Sugimoto from Indiana calls "a really interesting finding" at Nature News. It adds that the ratio of female-to-male scientists on Twitter was 0.62, higher than the ratio of female-to-male scientists on research papers of 0.43.
Sugimoto and her colleagues add that researchers tended to share links to news sites like the Guardian and the New York Times, but also links to other social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. "The majority of tweets are personal," Sugimoto tells Nature News. "It's about your coffee. It's the news. It's politics. It's not necessarily scientific in nature."