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For Scientists, More Tweets Don't Mean Better Citation Numbers

Slowly but surely, scientists are taking to Twitter to promote their research. But tweeting may not have the effect they hope: According to a new study, blasting 140 characters about their findings doesn’t correspond with a higher number of citations in peer-reviewed journals.

In what they say is the largest Twitter study of scholarly articles, the researchers looked at 1.4 million peer-reviewed articles published between 2010 and 2012, and determined how often they appeared on the social media site. They then counted each article’s journal citations (a generally accepted method for evaluating an article’s impact on the scientific community). The study appears in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.