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Making Headlines: An Analysis of US Government-Funded Cancer Research Mentioned In Online Media

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-02-03
Abstract: 

Objective To characterise how online media coverage of journal articles on cancer funded by the US government varies by cancer type and stage of the cancer control continuum and to compare the disease prevalence rates with the amount of funded research published for each cancer type and with the amount of media attention each receives.

Design A cross-sectional study. Setting The United States. Participants The subject of analysis was 11 436 journal articles on cancer funded by the US government published in 2016. These articles were identified via PubMed and characterised as receiving online media attention based on data provided by Altmetric. Results 16.8% (n=1925) of articles published on US government-funded research were covered in the media. Published journal articles addressed all common cancers. Frequency of journal articles differed substantially across the common cancers, with breast cancer (n=1284), lung cancer (n=630) and prostate cancer (n=586) being the subject of the most journal articles. Roughly one-fifth to one-fourth of journal articles within each cancer category received online media attention. Media mentions were disproportionate to actual burden of each cancer type (ie, incidence and mortality), with breast cancer articles receiving the most media mentions. Scientific articles also covered the stages of the cancer continuum to varying degrees. Across the 13 most common cancer types, 4.4% (n=206) of articles focused on prevention and control, 11.7% (n=550) on diagnosis and 10.7% (n=502) on therapy. Conclusions Findings revealed a mismatch between prevalent cancers and cancers highlighted in online media. Further, journal articles on cancer control and prevention received less media attention than other cancer continuum stages. Media mentions were not proportional to actual public cancer burden nor volume of scientific publications in each cancer category. Results highlight a need for continued research on the role of media, especially online media, in research dissemination.

Objective To characterise how online media coverage of journal articles on cancer funded by the US government varies by cancer type and stage of the cancer control continuum and to compare the disease prevalence rates with the amount of funded research published for each cancer type and with the amount of media attention each receives.

Design A cross-sectional study. Setting The United States. Participants The subject of analysis was 11 436 journal articles on cancer funded by the US government published in 2016. These articles were identified via PubMed and characterised as receiving online media attention based on data provided by Altmetric. Results 16.8% (n=1925) of articles published on US government-funded research were covered in the media. Published journal articles addressed all common cancers. Frequency of journal articles differed substantially across the common cancers, with breast cancer (n=1284), lung cancer (n=630) and prostate cancer (n=586) being the subject of the most journal articles. Roughly one-fifth to one-fourth of journal articles within each cancer category received online media attention. Media mentions were disproportionate to actual burden of each cancer type (ie, incidence and mortality), with breast cancer articles receiving the most media mentions. Scientific articles also covered the stages of the cancer continuum to varying degrees. Across the 13 most common cancer types, 4.4% (n=206) of articles focused on prevention and control, 11.7% (n=550) on diagnosis and 10.7% (n=502) on therapy. Conclusions Findings revealed a mismatch between prevalent cancers and cancers highlighted in online media. Further, journal articles on cancer control and prevention received less media attention than other cancer continuum stages. Media mentions were not proportional to actual public cancer burden nor volume of scientific publications in each cancer category. Results highlight a need for continued research on the role of media, especially online media, in research dissemination.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Survey Results for Yer a Reader, Harry: Reread Podcasts as Digital Reading Communities

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-01-15
Abstract: 

This spreadsheet contains the results of a survey conducted with the SFU WebSurvey tool between May 22 and June 18, 2018. The survey received 556 anonymous responses, all of which are included in this spreadsheet. The questionnaire, including all of the questions asked in the survey, is also included for cross-referencing.

Document type: 
Other

Collecting, Calculating and Displaying Altmetrics with Open Source

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-09-28
Document type: 
Conference presentation
File(s): 

Can third-party observers detect the emotional rewards of generous spending?

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-02-20
Abstract: 

Can others detect the emotional consequences of our personal choices? Here we investigate whether third-party observers can detect the emotional benefits of two factors shown to influence self-reported happiness: the speed with which people make decisions, and the generosity of spending choices. Participants were randomly assigned to purchase a goody bag either for themselves or for a sick child, and to choose the contents of this goody bag either as quickly as possible, or by taking as much time as needed. After, participants reported their current emotional state, and were rated for happiness by a research assistant blind to their spending condition. Analyses revealed that purchasing a gift for someone else not only improved participants’ self-reported mood, but that observers could detect these affective differences as well. Observers also rated participants who made their spending decision more quickly as happier, although participants did not report these emotional differences.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Identifying Diffusion Patterns of Research Articles on Twitter: A Case Study of Online Engagement with Open Access Articles

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-04-02
Abstract: 

The growing presence of research shared on social media, coupled with the increase in freely available research, invites us to ask whether scientific articles shared on platforms like Twitter diffuse beyond the academic community. We explore a new method for answering this question by identifying 11 articles from two open access biology journals that were shared on Twitter at least 50 times and by analyzing the follower network of users who tweeted each article. We find that diffusion patterns of scientific articles can take very different forms, even when the number of times they are tweeted is similar. Our small case study suggests that most articles are shared within single-connected communities with limited diffusion to the public. The proposed approach and indicators can serve those interested in the public understanding of science, science communication, or research evaluation to identify when research diffuses beyond insular communities.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Introducing Texture: An Open Source WYSIWYG Javascript Editor for JATS

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-04-26
Abstract: 

Texture is a WYSIWYG editor app that allows users to turn raw content into structured content, and add as much semantic information as needed for the production of scientific publications. Texture is open source software built on top of Substance (http://substance.io), an advanced Javascript content authoring library. While the Substance library is format agnostic, the Texture editor uses JATS XML as a native exchange format. The Substance library that Texture is built on already supports real-time collaborative authoring, and the easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface would make Texture an attractive alternative to Google Docs. For some editors, the interface could be toggled to more closely resemble a professional XML suite, allowing a user to pop out a raw attribute editor for any given element. Textureauthored documents could then be brought into the journal management system directly, skipping the conversion step, and move straight into a document-centric publishing workflow.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Is It Such a Big Deal? On the Cost of Journal Use in the Digital Era

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-11-06
Abstract: 

Commercial scholarly publishers promote and sell bundles of journals—known as big deals—that provide access to entire collections rather than individual journals. Following this new model, size of serial collections in academic libraries increased almost fivefold from 1986 to 2011. Using data on library subscriptions and references made for a sample of North American universities, this study provides evidence that, while big deal bundles do decrease the mean price per subscribed journal, academic libraries receive less value for their investment. We find that university researchers cite only a fraction of journals purchased by their libraries, that this fraction is decreasing, and that the cost per cited journal has increased. These findings reveal how academic publishers use product differentiation and price strategies to increase sales and profits in the digital era, often at the expense of university and scientific stakeholders.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Authorial and Institutional Stratification in Open Access Publishing: The Case of Global Health Research

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-02-19
Abstract: 

Using a database of recent articles published in the field of Global Health research, we examine institutional sources of stratification in publishing access outcomes. Traditionally, the focus on inequality in scientific publishing has focused on prestige hierarchies in established print journals. This project examines stratification in contemporary publishing with a particular focus on subscription vs. various Open Access (OA) publishing options. Findings show that authors working at lower-ranked universities are more likely to publish in closed/paywalled outlets, and less likely to choose outlets that involve some sort of Article Processing Charge (APCs; gold or hybrid OA). We also analyze institutional differences and stratification in the APC costs paid in various journals. Authors affiliated with higher-ranked institutions, as well as hospitals and non-profit organizations pay relatively higher APCs for gold and hybrid OA publications. Results suggest that authors affiliated with high-ranked universities and well-funded institutions tend to have more resources to choose pay options with publishing. Our research suggests new professional hierarchies developing in contemporary publishing, where various OA publishing options are becoming increasingly prominent. Just as there is stratification in institutional representation between different types of publishing access, there is also inequality within access types.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

La Reinterpretación de Visibilidad y Calidad en las Nuevas Políticas de Evaluación de Revistas Científicas

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2017-09-01
Abstract: 

This study analyzes the development of Latin American scientific publications from 1980 to present day in the context of the scientific assessment policies during that period. The analysis leads to the proposal of three eras in the development of Latin American scientific journals, which are analyzed in relation to the creation of regional systems such as Latindex, SciELO, and RedALyC. In the context of the third period –“internationalization”– the new journal evaluation policies of Mexico and Colombia (2016) are further analyzed and inconsistencies with the objectives of the previous periods are identified. In particular, the document analysis highlights how these policies shift the discourse and approach away from those seeking visibility and quality and towards citation as the only valued measure of publications. This change in approach is discussed along with the perceived advances and setbacks from the previous periods. The authors conclude that the scientific community would do well to return to the principles and values established in the first two periods where science and scientific publications were moving towards a regional and cooperative model under the governance of the scientific community.

 

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Local Chatter or International Buzz? Language Differences on Posts about Zika Research on Twitter and Facebook

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-01-05
Abstract: 

Background

When the Zika virus outbreak became a global health emergency in early 2016, the scientific community responded with an increased output of Zika-related research. This upsurge in research naturally made its way into academic journals along with editorials, news, and reports. However, it is not yet known how or whether these scholarly communications were distributed to the populations most affected by Zika.

Methodology/Principal findings

To understand how scientific outputs about Zika reached global and local audiences, we collected Tweets and Facebook posts that linked to Zika-related research in the first six months of 2016. Using a language detection algorithm, we found that up to 90% of Twitter and 76% of Facebook posts are in English. However, when none of the authors of the scholarly article are from English-speaking countries, posts on both social media are less likely to be in English. The effect is most pronounced on Facebook, where the likelihood of posting in English is between 11 and 16% lower when none of the authors are from English-speaking countries, as compared to when some or all are. Similarly, posts about papers written with a Brazilian author are 13% more likely to be in Portuguese on Facebook than when made on Twitter.

Conclusions/Significance

Our main conclusion is that scholarly communication on Twitter and Facebook of Zikarelated research is dominated by English, despite Brazil being the epicenter of the Zika epidemic. This result suggests that scholarly findings about the Zika virus are unlikely to be distributed directly to relevant populations through these popular online mediums. Nevertheless, there are differences between platforms. Compared to Twitter, scholarly communication on Facebook is more likely to be in the language of an author’s country. The Zika outbreak provides a useful case-study for understanding how scientific outputs are communicated to relevant populations. Our results suggest that Facebook is a more effective channel than Twitter, if communication is desired to be in the native language of the affected country. Further research should explore how local media—such as governmental websites, newspapers and magazines, as well as television and radio—disseminate scholarly publication.

Document type: 
Article
File(s):