Exploring #OpenScience Communities via Twitter

Continuing some initial explorations on how to explore data sharing practices among users of an online repository such as figshare.

As an active (or more accurately, formerly active) twitter user (@mountainsol), I recall finding that some of my information was stored by a service called “favstar.”

Twitter has the ability for followers to “favorite” tweets with a star; “favstar” collects those “favorites” and allows others to view.

For example: Here is figshare’s twitter data, accessible via favstar:


This shows “best of” along with categories for “newest”, “oldest,” and “discovered.”

The most popular tweet (as a function of retweets) concerns Google Scholar and was over a year ago (419 days).

This has 37 retweets. I’ll admit I’m surprised this would be the highest level of retweets.

By signing in with my personal twitter account credentials, I have some access to other data including “retweet details.”

Someone mentioned “I like @figshare.” Might be a phrase to concatenate from across the twitterverse.

“I prefer the interface”

I googled “twitter network reach.” Did not see anything useful.

I’m looking at “twitter network analysis”

I found a blog entry called “4 Awesome Free Tools to Visualize and Analyze Twitter Data.”


Tools mentioned:

1) Twitter Network Browser (No longer works – they cite a change in Twitter’s API)

2) MentionMaps

3) TwiAngulate – note check the “Biggest Followers” to compare DataONE to figshare. (This works pretty well and I got some useful data out of it, discussed later in this post).

4) TwitterVenn

Another potentially useful source is:


This lists some Web applications that can “ask questions of the twitterverse” – including older posts.

A tutorial on social network analysis for journalists is available.

Also I came across this tweet from my friend Carl Boettiger, which shows the migration of the survey from figshare early adopters into the twitterers.


I just ran a “triangulate” scan on DataONE and FigShare.

Results are:

Figshare – 10,009 followers

DataONE – 876 followers

As mentioned in an earlier post, there is a large difference in “Friends” (9,603 for figshare vs. 154 for DataONEorg).

Of the total 10873 followers, DataONE and FigShare have in common a mere 12 followers.

Venn Diagram depicting figshare and DataONEorg twitter followers on October 2, 2013.

The characteristics of these individuals might be especially important, as they represent the individual that is aware of both FigShare and DataONE (or perhaps meets the conditions of being a) on twitter b) aware of both and c) being interested in following updates from both.

PDF output shows combined followers: Twitter-DataONEorg

The top “twitter” follower for both is twitter user @BoraZ., who is “Blogs Editor at Scientific American” according to the bio. This individual has 25,857 followers (more than @figshare itself).

The next highest is a “professor” at UC Davis, described as “biologist” focused on “evolution” and “open science.”

The last user with over 10,000 followers is “NIF” user @neuinfo, described as a “semantic search engine over the largest dynamic inventory of web-based neuroscience resources.”

Remaining “in common” followers include two organizations: ASIS&T, SSRN and the remainder include individuals. A common theme appears to be “open access” or “open science’ as four mention “open science” or use the #openscience hashtag.

Note: this link connects to a comparison of common followers of both DataONE and figshare: http://bit.ly/173IhZu

BoraZ, phylogenomics, neuinfo, SSRN, scicheer, LizNeeley, MarkHahnel, Dr_Bik, asist_org, _inundata, brandsteve, pampel

4 users are from California (3 from Davis), two from the Pacific Nothwest, 1 from 2 from the Mid-atlantic, and 2 from overseas.

Using the “Reach of” feature of Twiangulate, I obtained this output:

Out of the 100 biggest followers of @DataONEorg and @figshare

@DataONEorg’s 50 biggest followers have a combined reach of 184,446

@figshare’s 50 biggest followers have a combined reach of 1,840,088

@DataONEorg and @figshare share 7 big followers who have 81,555 followers

@figshare has 90 big followers who have 2,011,464 followers

@DataONEorg has 3 big followers who have 39,370 followers

The difference in the reach of followers is huge (just over 100 thousand versus nearly 200 million.”


About Tanner Jessel

I am a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE and pursuing a Masters in Information Sciences with an Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Computational Science. I assist scholarly research efforts supporting the Sociocultural, Usability and Assessment, and Member Nodes working groups within DataONE. I am based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *