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Transforming Online Scholarly Communication

Online platforms, such as social media and open repositories, increase access to high-quality scientific papers, but also challenge users to identify reliable and trustworthy information. Scholars are adopting popular online means for disseminating their work. What can ensure that the highest quality science receives the most attention? This research develops new tools to increase confidence in the quality of the science, to help experts, journalists, and the public. These investigations have the potential to increase the impact of the best scientific research through computationally enhanced article filtering. Integrated educational and outreach objectives include: (1) develop course modules on networks in science communication, for diverse students; (2) conduct workshops for underrepresented minorities in science providing personalized strategies for increasing the online visibility of their scholarship; and (3) webinars to train science journalists to use the new filtering tool.

This research investigates how scientific publications spread on online platforms. It will derive measures of how scholars and members of the public share scientific publications. Characteristics of publication-sharing networks will be used to develop novel tools in order to filter papers in the pre-peer review stage. Patterns of uneven coverage of scholarship, not justified by differences in quality, will be identified. To address the inequalities, the project will develop computational tools for improving scientists’ dissemination strategies.

 

I Zakhlebin and E-Á Horvát, Diffusion of scientific articles across online platforms, Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 14(1), 762-773, 2020. https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/7341/7195
O Vásárhelyi, I Zakhlebin, S Milojevic, E-Á Horvát, Gender inequities in the online dissemination of scholars’ work, PNAS, 118 (39) e2102945118, 2021. https://www.pnas.org/content/118/39/e2102945118
E-Á Horvát and E Hargittai, Birds of a feather flock together online: Digital inequality in social media repertoires, Social Media + Society, 2021. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20563051211052897

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LINK is supported by a National Science Foundation CAREER Award(IIS-1943506), and a National Science Foundation CRII Award(IIS-1755873)