Monday, November 28, 2011

Academia as X Factor

There is an interesting snippet in the Times Higher Education of November, 2011 by John Elmes. He is reporting on an experiment carried out by Melissa Terras from University College London where she uploads one paper a week to her institutional repository and then tweets and blogs about it (Melissa Terras Blog). She writes "prior to me blogging and tweeting about the paper it got downloaded twice (not by me). The day I tweeted and blogged, it immediately got 140 downloads. This was on a Friday: on the Saturday and Sunday it got downloaded but by fewer people - on Monday it was retweeted and it got a further 140 downloads. I have no idea what happened on 24 October (Monday) - someone must have linked to it? Posted it on a blog? Then there were a further 80 downloads and then it went quiet". She says this can lead to your statistics becoming an obsession and it also may be the drift towards "academia as X-Factor". Whatever the pros and cons it does show the impact of the use of social media.

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