Dental Hypotheses

: 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Dental research output in twittersphere

Jafar Kolahi 
 Independent Research Scientist, Founder and Managing Editor of Dental Hypotheses, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Jafar Kolahi
N0 24, Faree 15, Pardis, Shahin Shahr, Isfahan - 83179 18981

How to cite this article:
Kolahi J. Dental research output in twittersphere.Dent Hypotheses 2017;8:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Kolahi J. Dental research output in twittersphere. Dent Hypotheses [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Dec 5 ];8:1-2
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Full Text

Twitter is a free online news and social networking and microblogging service where users post and interact with short message called “tweets” that can have a long-term influence on how researchers create and publish innovative ideas.[1] As of March 2016, Twitter had more than 310 million monthly active operators. Nowadays, Twitter is an important, rapid, and influential scholarly tool that can intensify the scientific and social impact of research findings.[2] It has been shown that:

In medical and biological sciences, robust relationship exists between the number of tweets and citation counts.[3]

Twitter can be used to predict highly cited articles in the first 3 days of publication.[4]

Among general medical journals, number of Twitter followers is strongly related to its impact factor and citations.[5]

Results of a recent survey has shown that Twitter is the most popular social media among dental researchers.[6]

On February 6 2017, dental literature was investigated with PubMed query “1800/1/1”[PDAT]: “2016/12/31”[PDAT] AND jsubsetd[text].

A total of 580,838 records were found, of which only the most recent 25,000 results were considered in this investigation. To find and analyze tweets, Altmetric database (Altmetric LLP, London, UK) was used. There were 24,534 tweets about this content by 5300 unique tweeters in 101 countries ([Figure 1],[Figure 2]). As seen in [Figure 1], the number of tweets increased apparently since 2015. The United States and United Kingdom have the most number of tweets and unique tweeters ([Figure 2]; [Table 1]). Results of this investigation confirmed the findings of a previous survey[6] that Twitter is the most popular social media in dental research ([Figure 1]), while in general, Facebook had the first rank in 2016.[7]{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Table 1}

Unfortunately, demographic breakdown of the Tweets to illustrate the origin of tweets (members of the public, practitioners, scientists and science communicators) was not possible in this investigation because of technical limitations.

Despite several advantages of Twitter as a new and rapid scholarly tool to disseminate and discuss research findings,[8] dental research scientists must be careful of its overuse. The Kardashian-index would be a useful tool in this regard. It is a simple quantification of the over, or under, activity of a research scientist on social media, which is calculated using Hall’s equation:[9]

K Index = F(a)/(43.3 C0.32)

where, F(a) is the number of Twitter followers, and C is the number of citations on Web of Science.

If Kardashian-index gets above 5, then it is high time to get off Twitter and write scientific articles. Interesting examples are available at The top 50 science stars of Twitter.[10] Also, modifications of Kardashian-index are available which used Google Scholar citation data.[11],[12]

If you would like to debate this topic further, please follow us on:


We would like to thank Mrs. Stacy Konkiel from Altmetric LLP (London, U.K) for her valuable assistance.


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