Social Media and Peer-Reviewed Medical Journal Readership: A Randomized Prospective Controlled Trial
Journal of the American College of Radiology, February 2017
C. Matthew Hawkins, Makeba Hunter, Giselle E. Kolenic, Ruth C. Carlos, Hawkins, C. Matthew, Hunter, Makeba, Kolenic, Giselle E., Carlos, Ruth C.
To prospectively evaluate the impact of increasing levels of social media engagement on page visits and web-link clicks for content published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. A three-arm prospective trial was designed using a control group, a basic Twitter intervention group (using only the Journal's @JACRJournal Twitter account), and an enhanced Twitter intervention group (using the personal Twitter accounts of editorial board members and trainees). Overall, 428 articles published between June 2013 and July 2015 were randomly assigned to the three groups. Article-specific tweets for both intervention arms were sent between September 14, 2015, and October 28, 2015. Primary end points included article-specific weekly and monthly page visits on the journal's Elsevier website (Amsterdam, Netherlands). For the two intervention groups, additional end points included 7-day and 30-day Twitter link clicks. Weekly page visits for the enhanced Twitter arm (mean 18.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 15.6-20.7) were significantly higher when compared with the weekly page visits for the control arm (mean 7.6; 95% CI 1.7-13.6). However, there was no demonstrable increase in weekly page visits (mean 9.4; 95% CI 7.4-11.5) for the basic Twitter arm compared with the control arm. No intervention effects over control, regardless of Twitter arm assignment, were demonstrated for monthly page visits. The enhanced Twitter intervention resulted in a statistically significant increase in both 7-day and 30-day Twitter link clicks compared with the basic Twitter intervention group. An organized social media strategy, with focused social media activity from editorial board members, increased engagement with content published in a peer-reviewed radiology journal.
|Members of the public||38||46%|
|Practitioners (doctors, other healthcare professionals)||17||21%|
|Science communicators (journalists, bloggers, editors)||6||7%|
|Readers by professional status||Count||As %|
|Student > Postgraduate||1||20%|
|Readers by discipline||Count||As %|
|Medicine and Dentistry||2||40%|
|Business, Management and Accounting||1||20%|