Background: The Thoracic Surgery Social Media Network (TSSMN) represents a collaborative effort of leading journals in cardiothoracic surgery to highlight publications via social media, specifically Twitter. We conducted a prospective randomized trial to determine the effect of scheduled tweeting on nontraditional bibliometrics of dissemination. Methods: A total of 112 representative original articles (2017-2018) were selected and randomized 1:1 to an intervention group to be tweeted via TSSMN or a control (non-tweeted) group. Four articles per day were tweeted by TSSMN delegates for 14 days. Primary endpoints included change in article-level metrics (Altmetric) score pre-tweet and post-tweet compared with the control group. Secondary endpoints included change in Twitter analytics day 1 post-tweet and day 7 post-tweet for each article compared with baseline. Results: Tweeting via TSSMN significantly improved article Altmetric scores (pre-tweet 1 vs post-tweet 8; P <.001), Mendeley reads (pre-tweet 1 vs post-tweet 3; P <.001), and Twitter impressions (day 1 post-tweet 1599 vs day 7 post-tweet 2296; P <.001). Subgroup analysis demonstrates that incorporating photos into the tweets trended toward increased link clicks to the full-text article (P =.08) whereas tweeting at 1 pm Eastern Standard Time and 9 pm Eastern Standard Time generated the highest and lowest audience reach (P =.022), respectively. Articles published in adult cardiac surgery achieved the highest change in Altmetric score (P =.028) and Mendeley reads (P =.028), and were more likely to be retweeted (P =.042) than were those published on education, general thoracic surgery, and congenital surgery. Conclusions: Social media highlights of scholarly literature via TSSMN Twitter activity improves article Altmetric scores, Mendeley reads, and Twitter analytics, with dissemination to a greater audience.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine