To What Extent Does the Open Access Status of Articles Predict Their Social Media Visibility? A Case Study of Life Sciences and Biomedicine
Journal article, 2020

This study aimed to determine whether, and to what extent, the OA status and OA type of articles can predict their social media visibility, when controlling for a considerable number of important factors. Those factors, which previous research confirmed their positive association with altmetric counts, were journal impact, individual collaboration, research funding, number of MESH topics, topic, international collaboration, lay summary, being a mega journal, F1000 Score, and gender of first and last authors. The data for this study comprised 83,444 articles and reviews in the research area of Life Sciences and Biomedicine from 2012–2016, retrieved from Medline in November 2018. The results showed that the percentage of OA articles mentioned on altmetric platforms was significantly higher than those of the non-OA articles. Furthermore, Open Access was significantly associated with a higher probability of a paper being mentioned on the studied social media platforms. Compared to non-OA articles, the OA articles had a higher average of tweets, Facebooks posts, news posts, and blog posts. By increase of a unit in the OA status, the average number of tweets, Facebooks posts, news posts, and blog posts increased by 92.7%, 25.7%, 83.9% and 48.4%, respectively. Regarding the OA types (studied as Gold vs non-Gold), our findings showed that the Gold OA articles had a higher average number of Tweets and a higher probability of being mentioned in tweets and blogs.

Life Sciences

Open Access


Social media visibility

Gold Open Access



Tahereh Dehdarirad

Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Research support, bibliometrics and ranking

Fereshteh Didegah

Karolinska Institutet

Journal of Altmetrics

2577-5685 (eISSN)

Vol. 3 1

Subject Categories

Information Studies



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