An important part of science is sharing the findings, both with the general public, and with fellow scientists. The main method of sharing science is done by writing articles that are published in academic journals. However, most people are not subscribed to the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and thus may not be aware of the latest articles that came out. This means that a lot of articles never reach the general public, or sometimes even fellow scientists. by the Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network shows that tweeting might be the solution.
Their team divided 112 journal articles into two groups. They only tweeted about the articles in one group, and not in the other, and only sent out one tweet on each article. They then looked at how this changed how much attention the articles had gotten a year later. They found that the articles that they tweeted about received on average more attention, which they measured using , a measure of the amount of interaction with a certain article through social media and the press. So a higher Altmetric score means that more people have heard about the article.
However, tweeting out articles did not just change how many people heard about the science. The study also found that the articles they tweeted about received more citations, on average three times as many, meaning other researchers used the findings in their own studies. This is quite a big deal for scientists, as it reflects how important their work is within their field.
Overall, tweeting about research articles can have a big impact in how far the article reaches and how it impacts future research. So the advice to any researchers who want their articles to be read: Tweet about them!