Journalists and academics are pumping out publications at breakneck speed - how much impact do these articles really have?
More and more people are turning to the social media for new information from news and research. But do people only get exposed to information that affirms their existing beliefs? The team at nuviun Data Vision met with the director of innovative surgery at Stanford School of Medicine at Digital Health Live 2015, Homero Rivas and asked him about the role of research and science in digital health. Rivas says:
It would be impossible for all these devices and innovations we have to be scientifically evaluated with the standard of care.
Where Does New Information Come From?
Surprisingly the journals with the highest impact are not necessarily getting the highest through flow of google traffic.
5 Years Impact Score of 50 of the most credible journals in bioscience, general science, medicine and neuroscience/psychiatry show that the leading science journals get fewer Google hits. Data from David McCandless and Citefactor.
At LSE News Impact Summit, Vox stirred a heated debate about the interplay between social media marketing and news ethics. Perhaps it is the responsibility of the journalist to make the story approachable and digestible to the reader? If you are sharing real information and trying to promote a cause with social gain, is it ethical to use marketing techniques?
Google trends shows a downhill slope for "science journal" searches
Shares not likes are gaining more importance. A like is a low commitment minimum energy action, but sharing or citing links you more solidly to the information. By sharing information you are identifying with it, maybe even giving it your stamp of approval for validity.
The half life of a tweet is about half an hour (tops) - not to mention the 140 character limit. We can reach information quickly, but it also drops off our newsfeed quickly.
The turnover rate is higher than ever before. We have made article producing monsters. The same data, the same story, is being churned out and recycled in as many ways as possible to maximise the number of articles.
Scientists are always looking for new ways to analyse, measure and compare things - including their own performance as scientists.
Hover over the bubbles to see the name of the article. The larger the circle, the larger the impact of that publication.
Altmetric is a neat tool that produces a coloured donut in the corner of your desktop. The size lets you know how many times that article has been shared and the colour shows where it has been shared. You can find out your impact by downloading the tool for free online.
Altmetric tracks what people are saying about papers online on behalf of publishers, authors, libraries and institutions.
The Internet is Rewiring our Brain
Nicholas Carr, author of 'The Web Shatters Focus, Rewires Brains' talks about how the high flux of short sharp information is altering our brain structure and the way we fundamentally think. Dr. Gary Small from UCLA looked fMRI scans of people reading books versus searching the internet. If this is bad news or good news is not yet clear, but there is a clear difference in how we receive and receive and process new information. As researchers and journalists maybe we need to start thinking about how to adapt and deliver information to engage the public.