Introduction: Social media plays an increasingly important role in dissemination of knowledge and raising awareness of selected topics amongst the general public and the academic community. The aim of this study is 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 (ACGME) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dedicated neurosurgery and spine journals’ social media accounts were also identified through an online search on SCImago Journal and Country Rank portal. Non-parametric 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 out 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). However, specific social media metrics for neurosurgical department accounts did not correlate with any values of academic indices. For journals, there were 11 journals present on social media and had higher academic metrics compared to 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.
Patient Care: Our current findings stimulate interest in social media within the neurosurgical community. Academic departments are increasingly capitalizing on these networks to connect with patients to discuss their treatments options
Learning Objectives: By the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: 1) Describe the impact of social media on indices of scientific productivity. 2) Discuss how our current findings may stimulate interest in social media within the neurosurgical community, to improve academic collegiality, publication dissemination, and patient care.
References: Alotaibi NM, Badhiwala JH, Nassiri F, et al. The Current Use of Social Media in Neurosurgery. World Neurosurg. Nov 13 2015