A relational altmetric? Network centrality on ResearchGate as an indicator of scientific impact

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract

Social media are becoming increasingly popular in scientific communication. A range of platforms, such as academic social networking sites (SNS), are geared specifically towards the academic community. Proponents of the altmetrics approach have pointed out that new media allow for new avenues of scientific impact assessment. Traditional impact measures based on bibliographic analysis have long been criticized for overlooking the relational dynamics of scientific impact. We therefore propose an application of social network analysis to researchers' interactions on an academic social networking site to generate potential new metrics of scientific impact. Based on a case study conducted among a sample of Swiss management scholars, we analyze how centrality measures derived from the participants' interactions on the academic SNS ResearchGate relate to traditional, offline impact indicators. We find that platform engagement, seniority, and publication impact contribute to members' indegree and eigenvector centrality on the platform, but less so to closeness or betweenness centrality. We conclude that a relational approach based on social network analyses of academic SNS, while subject to platform-specific dynamics, may add richness and differentiation to scientific impact assessment.

Authors Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam
Journal or Publication Title Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST)
Language English
Keywords evaluation, scientists, social network analysis
Subjects social sciences
Institute/School University of St.Gallen
MCM -Institute for Media and Communication Management
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Business Innovation
Refereed Yes
Date 27 April 2015
Publisher Wiley
Place of Publication Hoboken, NJ
Volume 67
Number 4
Page Range 765-775
Number of Pages 11
ISSN 2330-1635
ISSN-Digital 2330-1643
Publisher DOI 10.1002/asi.23423
Official URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/asi.234...
Depositing User Christoph Lutz
Date Deposited 27 Apr 2015 18:34
Last Modified 23 Aug 2016 11:21
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/240735

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Citation

Hoffmann, Christian Pieter; Lutz, Christoph & Meckel, Miriam (2015) A relational altmetric? Network centrality on ResearchGate as an indicator of scientific impact. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 67 (4). 765-775. ISSN 2330-1635

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/240735
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