Shahed University

How Academia and Society Pay Attention to Climate Changes: A Bibliometric and Altmetric Analysis

Hamzehali Nourmohammadi | Forough Rahimi | Nosrat Riahinia | Hajar Sotudeh | Mohammad TavakoliZadeh-Ravari

Date :  2019/12/10
Publish in :    Webology

Link :
Keywords :Climate change, Altmetrics, Citation, Co-word analysis, Social media

Abstract :
With the help of social web, social users can create, manage, share or react without undergoing the formal mechanisms of quality control. The way social users respond to scholarly outputs on the social web is called social citation, which can show the broadening of impact from academia to society. Climate change is one of the most life-threatening issues that everybody should be sensible and react to. Studying the scientific and social citations of articles dealing with climate changes, the present study attempts to provide new insights into the amount of social users attention and reactions. It also investigates the correlation between scientific and social citations to shed light on the potential of altmetrics as an alternative or supplementary to its traditional predecessor. Besides, the study aims to carry out co-word analysis of scientific texts in the field and identify hot topics. Our findings showed that 3141 out of 6100 climate changes related articles retrieved from WoS were present in Altmetric explorer. They received 84380 and 17361 social and traditional citations, respectively. The articles were revealed to be mostly represented in Mendeley (133002 reads) and Tweeter (72108 tweets) followed by News outlet, Facebook, and blogs. The results of Spearman correlation test revealed a significant, though weak, correlation between WoS citations and social citations including Tweets, Mendeley readers, Facebook posts, blog posts, Google+ posts, news outlet and Article Attention Score. Multidisciplinary sciences were the most productive subject areas with the highest number of scientific and social citations. Co-word analysis of the articles showed that greenhouse gases emission; warming; species; adaptation; precipitation; energy; country, soil and crops are among the most frequent words. The value of the present study lies in the clarification of the extent to which social network users pay attention to climatic issues and how much is the power of altmetrics in showing the impact of science on society. Visualization of climate changes articles helps redirect cultural-political debates and associates discourses. It can help raise awareness in people and engage them in environmental conservation.