Female Scientists Over-represented on Twitter: Study

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Compared to their scholarly publishing, women scientists are over-represented on the microblogging site Twitter compared to male scientists, research has found.

“We find that Twitter has been employed by scholars across the disciplinary spectrum, with an over-representation of social and computer and information scientists; under-representation of mathematical, physical, and life scientists; and a better representation of women compared to scholarly publishing,” the researchers said.

For the study, Cassidy Sugimoto and her colleagues from Indiana University in the US developed a systematic approach to identifying and analysing scientists on Twitter. They investigated the demographics, sharing behaviours and interconnectivity of the identified scientists.

“Our method can identify scientists across many disciplines, without relying on external bibliographic data, and be easily adapted to identify other stakeholder groups in science,” the researchers said.

With this method they ended up identifying 45,867 scientists from around the world, Nature.com reported.

The ratio of female to male scientists on Twitter (0.62) was greater than the ratio of female to male authors on US-based scientific papers (0.43), the findings showed.