, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 495–509 | Cite as

Why highly cited articles are not highly tweeted? A biology case

  • Liwei Zhang
  • Jue WangEmail author


Altmetrics is an emerging topic that has generated much interest. Most of the studies, however, have focused on the comparison of altemetric indicators with traditional citation metrics and few have explored the factors influencing altmetric performance. This study investigates the dissemination pattern of scientific articles on social medial, and is particularly focused on highly tweeted articles and highly cited articles. Based on bibliometric and altmetric data collected for over 40,000 articles in the field of biology, we found that the timing of tweets and the type of Twitter accounts affect the amount of attention that a scientific publication receives on social media. Articles with a large number of tweets tend to be the ones receiving immediate social media exposure and are often tweeted by journal associated organization accounts or other individual accounts with a large number of followers. By contrast, highly cited articles in general are neither tweeted timely nor promoted by their respective journal accounts.


Publication Citation Tweet Twitter users Timing of tweet 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WISE LabDalian University of TechnologyDalianChina
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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