Social Media Metrics and Bibliometric Profiles of Neurosurgical Departments and Journals: Is There a Relationship?
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BACKGROUND: Social media plays an increasingly important role in dissemination of knowledge and raising awareness of selected topics among the general public and the academic community. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between social media metrics and academic indices of neurosurgical programs and journals. METHODS: A 2-step online search was performed to identify official social media accounts of neurosurgical departments that were accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dedicated neurosurgery and spine journals' social media accounts also were identified through an online search on SCImago Journal and Country Rank portal. Nonparametric tests were performed with bootstrapping to compare groups and to look for correlations between social media and academic metrics. RESULTS: We identified 36 social media accounts officially affiliated with academic neurosurgical institutions. These accounts represented 22 of 119 neurosurgical programs in North America (18.4%). The presence of a social media account for neurosurgical departments was associated with statistically significant higher values of academic impact metrics (P < 0.05). Specific social media metrics for neurosurgical department accounts, however, did not correlate with any values of academic indices. For journals, there were 11 journals present on social media and had greater academic metrics compared with journals without social media presence (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Social media presence is associated with stronger academic bibliometrics profiles for both neurosurgical departments and journals. The impact of social media metrics on indices of scientific impact in neurosurgery is not known.
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