ResearchPublications

News and social media coverage is associated with more downloads and citations of manuscripts that focus on substance use
Abstract

BACKGROUND: A variety of substance use-related topics are discussed in the public discourse; however, it is unknown how public discussion of published substance-related findings relates to manuscript downloads and citations. This manuscript examines how traditional and social media coverage of published findings about substance use affects downloads and scientific citations.

METHODS: Altmetric and bibliographic information was obtained for manuscripts published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence between 2018 and 2019 (n = 943). Associations were examined between news and social media coverage (i.e., Twitter, Facebook) in relation to number of manuscript downloads and number of citations. This was done in a bivariable manner and in a multivariable manner examining correlates of being in the top 10th percentile of downloads and citations.

RESULTS: 73.3 % of articles were shared on Twitter, 23.6 % were shared on Facebook, and 13.9 % were covered in news sources (with 4.0 % receiving major media coverage). Epidemiology papers were among the most covered in the news, and e-cigarette review papers were among the most downloaded. News and social media coverage were positively associated with number of downloads and citations in bivariable models and with achieving the top 10 % of downloads and citations in multivariable models (ps < .001). Publishing a press release was associated with higher likelihood of receiving additional news coverage (aPR = 7.85, 95 % CI: 5.15–11.97).

CONCLUSIONS: Traditional and social media coverage of manuscripts focusing on substance use are associated with more downloads and citations. Researchers should consider sharing findings not only to increase downloads and citations but also to educate the general public.

Full citation:
Palamar JJ, Strain EC (2021).
News and social media coverage is associated with more downloads and citations of manuscripts that focus on substance use
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 218, 108357. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108357. PMCID: PMC7750283.