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Información, cultura y sociedad

Print version ISSN 1514-8327On-line version ISSN 1851-1740


ALVAREZ BORNSTEIN, Belén  and  MONTESI, Michela. Interdisciplinary research and societal impact: analysis of social media. Inf. cult. soc. [online]. 2020, n.42, pp.127-144. ISSN 1514-8327.

Currently, interdisciplinary research (IR) is considered to have a higher potential for societal impact than monodisciplinary research, as it addresses real world problems from different and more complex perspectives. However, the evidence of a relationship between IR and research impact is scanty. This paper aims to see whether the attention that IR receives on social media is somehow different from monodisciplinary conventional research. For this purpose, we analyze mentions to the Spanish scientific production published between 2012 and 2016 and recorded in Web of Science (WoS) on several social media, including Twitter, blogs, Wikipedia, news, and policy reports, using Articles are grouped into 175 disciplines, according to the WoS classification system, including the Multidisciplinary category, which we take as an approximation to IR. Additionally, blogs citing the scientific literature published on journals of the category Multidisciplinary were compared to those of Internal Medicine and Ecology, in order to study comparatively the authorship and nature of the blogs, and the commenting activity they support. Results show that articles published in the category Multidisciplinary are among the most cited on social media, especially on blogs and news. The analysis of blogs points to a higher implication of actors outside the academic community with research published on journals of the category Multidisciplinary.

Keywords : Social media; Societal impact; Interdisciplinary research; Altmetrics; Social media metrics.

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