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Community Newsletter: Do tweets help autism research papers take flight?

by  /  13 February 2022
Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.
Illustration by Laurène Boglio

As regular readers know, this newsletter takes pains to highlight autism research tweets — but do tweets really help papers take flight? It’s tough to quantify the impact, beyond simple tallies of retweets and likes. A new paper this week attempts the calculation, linking social-media shares and news coverage with actual downloads and citations.

Brittany Hand, assistant professor of health and rehabilitation sciences at Ohio State University, and student Anne Longo found that for every 10 Twitter shares of an autism research paper, there is a 4.4 percent increase in downloads of the paper and a 5.2 percent increase in citations. Facebook posts and news stories about a paper are tied to double-digit boosts.

“Sharing information via media may be a way of quantifying the impact of an article more quickly, while traditional indicators, like citations, may take more time to accumulate due to lengthy peer-review and publication processes,” the paper concludes.

 

Both the journal Nature and Harvard University tweeted about new research from Paola Arlotta, Golub Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard, and her colleagues. The work, conducted in organoids, shows how three autism-linked mutations all shift the pace at which certain inhibitory and excitatory neurons develop.

The results reveal a point of convergence, Nature noted in a tweet.

They “give scientists a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder and are a first step toward finding treatments,” Harvard tweeted.

Spectrum reported on the findings at embargo on 2 February.

 

The journal Autism shared tweets about bilingualism and its effects on cognition in autistic children, a parent peer coaching program in Mongolia, and how the pandemic has affected autistic adults’ mental health.

It also tweeted a thread featuring new research from Sarah Hampton, a research fellow at the University of York in the United Kingdom, and her colleagues. Parents on the spectrum might be more likely to experience stress, depression and anxiety during and immediately after pregnancy, but they are as likely as their non-autistic peers to engage in positive parenting behaviors, the team found.

A new study on autistic women’s experiences of pregnancy is gearing up at the Sheffield Autism Research Lab in the U.K.

 

Tired of reading? The Autism Science Foundation tweeted about the latest episode of its podcast, which discusses research on regression from Jessica Bradshaw, assistant professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina, and the Pathways in ASD study.

That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to send an email to [email protected].

Cite this article: https://doi.org/10.53053/DJYT2970


TAGS:   autism, community