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EMAC 2023 Annual

Does it pay to be active on social media? The antecedents and consequences of researchers’ social media activities

Published: May 24, 2023


Veronika Breytfus, University of Cologne; Julian Wichmann, University of Cologne; Werner Reinartz, University of Cologne


A key driver of academic impact is reach: highly visible research and researchers have a higher potential to impact society, managers, and fellow academics. Social media (SM), especially Twitter, is becoming an increasingly important tool within the scientific community for promoting oneself and one’s publications. With its help, academics can boost their visibility and their publications’ reach. Still, a detailed understanding of academics’ SM activities, its efficacy to drive reach, and its success factors are lacking. Therefore, this paper identifies drivers of engagement with academics’ SM activities and uncovers how SM engagement affects reach measured in terms of citations and altmetric scores. Specifically, the authors observe more than 386.818 tweets by 585 academics over six years and analyse the who, what, how, and when of their posts. The insights inform academics on how to more effectively engage their SM audience, promote their research, and boost their reach.