New study finds strong correlation between the relationship between Twitter mentions and both article downloads and article citations
A new study by Xin Shuai, Alberto Pepe and Johan Bollen analyzes the online response of the scientific community to the preprint publication of scholarly articles. Based on a cohort of 4,606 scientific articles submitted to the preprint database arXiv.org between October 2010 and April 2011 they study three forms of reactions to these preprints: how they are downloaded on the arXiv.org site, how they are mentioned on the social media site Twitter, and how they are cited in the scholarly record.
They find that Twitter mentions follow rapidly after article submission and that they are correlated with later article downloads and later article citations, indicating that social media may be an important factor in determining the scientific impact of an article.
This fits very well with a study from 2011, where David McKenzie and Berk Özler analyze the Impact of Economics Blogs They found out, that “links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers.”