Who Follows Whom? Exploring Open Science Social Networks

A few items to comment on.

First, my personal e-mail was sent a notification from twitter that suggested certain other organizations to follow, apparently based on my interest in figshare – the title of the e-mail was “Suggestions based on figshare”

Twitter suggested “Similar to figshare” includes:

  • PLOS (@PLOS)
  • Open Science Fedn (@openscience)
  • Dryad (@datadryad)
  • MarkHahnel (@MarkHahnel)
  • CameronNeylon (@CameronNeylon)

Interesting to me that this is a mix of organizations and individuals – although “CameronNeylon” is “Advocacy Director for PLOS” and Mark Hahnel is creator of figshare (Twitter sure is smart).

I’d be fascinated to know why Twitter recommended these to me – although I should point out that some of the science-centric twitter handles I follow are highlighted as followers. ย For example, “Science Friday, DataONE, Aquatic Habitat, Figshare” and some others.

After logging in and clicking “And 17 others,” I can see the URL “https://twitter.com/PLOS/followers_you_follow”

Twitter defines that relationship as “I know them.”

So, substituting figshare for PLOS in the URL, let me load this:


7 for figshare compared to 17 for PLOS, out of my total personal network of ย 301 twitter handles (mostly related to ecology and environmental science) that I follow. Also of note is figshare now has 10,082 followers.

Next point: I would like to see if there are some other social network presences for figshare beyond the ones that figshare promotes (the main ones being facebook, google + and twitter as explored in earlier posts).

I did a basic Google search for “figshare AND linkedin” (without quotes).

This showed me that figshare has a slideshare account:


With one slide presentation (20 slides) and 482 views, it seems primarily intended to route traffic to the main (promoted) sites.

This page does link to “LinkedIN” – and has 68 followers. ย This is the lowest representation of any of the social network presences ย – perhaps it shows a paucity of connections in the “business” environment? Or rather, that people who connect to open science social networks are more inclined to gravitate towards a social network ?

The most recent post was “8 hours ago” on October 8, 2013 – and is likely connected to facebook as the post of 8 hours ago mirrors another post of 8 hours ago. There is some interaction, evidenced by “likes” and comments on the linkedin presence.

An “insight” that Linkedin offers is what “People Also Viewed” – which lists the following:

  • Digital Science
  • Altmetric
  • Symletic
  • Readcube
  • NPG (Nature Publishing Group)
  • Red Mango Media

This is a complete list.

Figshare also appears to have a vimeo:


3 videos, 11 following.

Figshare also has a youtube:ย http://www.youtube.com/user/FigShare

Again, two videos with 28 followers, 565 views on “An introduction to figshare” and 101 views on the older, “FigShare – An introduction” posted two years ago.

At this point I’m satisfied that I’ve covered the social networks – or at least the ones that DataONE also uses (https://www.dataone.org/).

I believe it’s time to turn attention to scholarly articles to see what formal investigations have been conducted concerning use of figshare – or perhaps a meta-analysis of use of open science platforms (such as figshare) as evidenced by prevalence of unique URLs or citations within published literature. (Obviously PLOS would be a big one – but looking at some of the main databases from Elsevier, Proquest, and others).



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.

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