Category Archives: Social Media Research

Top Journals in Communication According to Google Scholar in 2014

Google Scholar recommendations

If you are a lover of Google Scholar like me (I’ve written a few posts on becoming a G Scholar power user, in case you’ve missed them) you may have seen that the 2014 Google Scholar Metrics are out.

Here are the top 5 journals in Communication according to the ranking:

  1. New Media & Society
  2. Journal of Communication
  3. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
  4. Public Opinion Quarterly
  5. Public Relations Review

 

A complete list is here.

So how is it ranked? According to their site, Google uses h5 scores for h-index and h-medians. An h-index is described on the Google Scholar Metrics page as: “the largest number h such that at least h articles in that publication were cited at least h times each. For example, a publication with five articles cited by, respectively, 17, 9, 6, 3, and 2, has the h-index of 3.” They describe an h-median score as “the median of the citation counts in its h-core. For example, the h-median of the publication above is 9. The h-median is a measure of the distribution of citations to the articles in the h-core.” The h5, what they use, is that score for only articles published in the last 5 complete calendar years.

What’s covered in 2014’s list? Articles published between 2009 and 2013, indexed in Google Scholar in June 2014.  Here’s more detail on what is included.

There you have it. According to Google’s ranking system (that is, based on citation numbers as described above), those are the top journals in Comm. You can see all the different fields, browse, and search the Google Scholar Metric here.

For more information on G Scholar Metrics, here’s a release on the Google Scholar blog.

Cheers!

Matt

ICA Conference Panel: Social Media Data

I’m back from a great trip to ICA! The conference was filled with inspiring and informative panels. And it was great to see colleagues and friends!

I want to take a quick minute to share a post summarizing a great panel I attended. Since Mary Joyce (@MetaActivism) summarizes the post here and the capabilities of the software, I thought I’d just let her do the talking. 🙂 But first, a quick overview.

The panel was “Integrating Social Media Data Into Communication Research Using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).” I attended it Friday morning and was fortunate enough to get a chair. The room was packed with dozens of people sitting on the floor or standing in the back or along the wall. It seems interest in social media data in the field of communication research is on the rise.

Here’s a great summary of the presentations by Mary Joyce over at Meta-Activism.org.

Back from Poland and off to ICA 2014 in Seattle!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! It is very busy here. Kelin and I just returned from a weeklong trip to Poland. We went to Krakow and Warsaw.

I’m leaving early Thursday morning to head the International Communication Association conference in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! If you are going to be at ICA in Seattle, feel free to stop by and see our poster session for our paper:

Dalisay, F., Kushin, M.J., Yamamoto, M. (May, 2014). The politically demobilizing role of conflict avoidance for participation, efficacy, and attention to information sources. Paper accepted for presentation at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, Seattle, WA.

Location & Time : Sat, at 4:30pm, in the Metropolitan Ballroom.

I hope to see you there!

Just for fun, I thought I’d share just a few of the many photos we took during our trip to Poland. I wish I remembered the names of all of the amazing historic buildings we saw to go along with the photos. I highly recommend visiting Poland, especially Krakow!   For each city, I also listed some highlights. Some photos go along with the highlights. Click the photos to enlarge them.

Krakow 

krakow theater

town square krakow

 

 

photos: Theater in Krakow, and the town square in Krakow

The Wawel Royal Castle

The Schindler factory (made famous by the Schindler’s List movie) – Although we didn’t get to go into the factory (which is now a museum), just being able to see it from the outside was an amazing experience.

Krakow Jewish Ghetto – We went through the location where the Nazis forced the Jewish population of Krakow to live in 1 of 2 walled in sections across the river from Krakow. This was near the Schindler factory.

 

Nowa Huta and the “Communist Bus Tour” – where we learned a ton about the history of the fight against communism in Poland, and got to tour Nowa Huta (the city of the New Steel Mill) which was a planned socialist city. I didn’t know much about how Poland won its power and the years of protest and bloodshed that led up to it, a good bit of which happened in Nowa Huta and during strikes in that city. Interestingly, a town square that was once called Stalin Square was renamed to Ronald Reagan square to honor his fight against communism.

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photo: in the distance you can see what looks like a large field. This was supposed to be a made man lake in Nowa Huta. But the USSR never completed it due to a lack of funds. However, some maps showed that the lake was there.

Warsaw

Nearly 90% of Warsaw was destroyed during World War II, including a systematic campaign by the Nazis to make an example of the city to the rest of Europe because the citizens of Warsaw tried to fight back against the Nazis. So most of the buildings are rebuilt. But the city took great care to replicate the buildings as closely as possible to the originals. Highlights included

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Photo: The Palace of Culture and Science, the tallest building in Poland was a gift to Poland from the Soviet Union in the 1950s. It used to be named after Stalin.

The University of Warsaw

20140518_202207

Photo: The University of Warsaw main entrance

“Old Town”

mermaid statue

 

20140517_110557

 

photo: Mermaid statue in the old town square in Warsaw, 2) more of the old town’s center.

The Warsaw Uprising Museum – Unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos because it was dark. But this experience was absolutely moving. It was one of the best museums I have been to. This museum is dedicated to the efforts of the Home Army (the small army of Warsaw citizens) who fought the Nazis during a 63 day campaign in 1944 as the Russians approached the city, pushing the Nazis back. After taking Warsaw, the Russians provided very little support for the Home Army and arrested many of their members. Leaders were imprisoned, many never to be seen again. The Russians downplayed the role the Home Army played in the battle for Warsaw. And much of what the Home Army did was not acknowledged until after the end of the Cold War.

 

That’s all for now. I hope everyone is having a great week!

– Cheers!

Matt

 

Become a Google Scholar Power User (1 of 3)

Update: Posts #2 (Google Scholar Profiles) and #3 (Google Scholar Recommendations) are now available.

I love Google Scholar. It is useful for not only your research agenda, but also it is a tool to teach your students about.

When teaching students about finding academic research, no discussion is complete without Google Scholar. In fact, I tell my students this is my go to source… though I’m sure the library probably wouldn’t be happy to hear that.

GScholars primary purpose is as a search engine for scholarly articles. Simply goto: scholar.google.com and search for an article title, subject (e.g., a theory, construct), keyword, or author.

There’s much more to GScholar than a simple search. GScholar has some little known (and some very new!) features that are very useful. Here’s how to become a Google Scholar Power User, Part 1 – Advanced Search Features: (See: Post #2 in this series on Google Scholar Profiles).

Great Benefits!

It works just like Google, but it indexes academic publications. Many libraries are linked with Google Scholar, such that if you search Google Scholar and an article comes up that your school library has, you can access it directly through your search engine results. (While this often happens automatically when on campus, you can find out if your library has the article when away from campus as well. Go to your settings, click library, and do a search for your universities library. Then click save).

Advanced Features:

1) Advanced Article Access

Another great benefit is that sometimes articles are hosted online in various places, and you can find access to those articles that you would otherwise not have access to through your library.

Identifying this access is easy. To the right of the search result, you will see [PDF] available from XYZ or [HTML] available from. For an example, here is a search for my own research .  Notice how the “Getting Political on Social Network Sites” is available as HTML from the online journal First Monday.

Example of Google Scholar Search Results. See explanation of features below.
Example of Google Scholar Search Results. See explanation of features below. Click this image to enlarge it.

2) More Access Options

See an article that you want to get access to, but your library doesn’t have it and you don’t see a PDF version offered in the search results? Click “## versions” directly under the search result description. Sometimes, the primary result that Google shows does not provide access to the article, but alternative versions do. By clicking “## versions”, you may find that another version of the article is available online.

3) Related Articles

When conducting research, we’re often looking for research on a particular theory, construct, etc. So, if we find an article that fits our search goals, wouldn’t it be great to see what other articles are similar? The “Related Articles” link under the search entry does just that. For example, if I find an article on agenda setting in social media in a search result, and want to see more like it, rather than try a new search query, I’ll click “related articles” under the article I like for a whole host of articles related to agenda setting on social media.

4) Cited By Feature

The cited by feature offers a similar benefit to the “related articles” feature. It is very helpful because you can see who has cited this work. Why is that great? Because if the article you have found is of interest, likely those works that cited it are related and may be helpful! More so, they may have built on that study and thus their theory and findings may provide more recent insights and advancements to the topic you’re studying.

5) Author

If you want to see more articles by a specific author, click an author’s name (such as my name in the example above). This will take you to the author’s profile on GScholar (if they have one) where you can see all the articles they’ve published. This is something I’ll discuss more in a future post.

6) Cite

Want the APA or MLA citation format for the article in your search result? Click cite. A window pops up and you can choose the citation you need. Quick. Easy. Super helpful. You can also import into particular format styles.

7) Google Scholar Library

This is a new feature and one I just discovered. It works sort of like how Mendely lets you create a library of articles. You need a Google Scholar account to use this feature – which is of course free and connected to your Google account.

What you get, is an online custom list of articles. When you enable Library, you are asked if you want to import all articles you’ve cited. That is, Google indexes all the articles you have cited in the online publications Google has associated with you.

To access your library click “My library” at scholar.google.com. To add articles to your library, in a search result, you can click “save” to save that article directly from search results into your library.

It seems the deleting articles requires you to click on them individually and then click delete. I found no mass editing.

You can set up labels to organize articles into categories. For example, I may have a label “politics” another “social networks” and another “blogs.” By clicking an article in your library, then clicking the ‘labels’ drop down you can create and select labels.

This is a brand new feature and it has a lot of potential. Given that I’m a big Mendeley user, the library feature may be redundant. But I’m going to play with it and see if it has added benefit. I do like the idea that it provides direct access to articles available online.

Here is the How to and FAQ of Google Scholar Libraries 

That’s all for now!

The next 2 posts get beyond the basics of Google Search search results into Recommendations and Google Profiles. Check them out:

  1. Post #2 Scholar Profiles.
  2. Post #3 Scholar Recommendations

 

Do you use Google Scholar for search? What are your favorite features? What do you think about the new library feature?

“Social Media and Mobiles” Social Media and Politics Research Published!

I hope everyone is staying warm! Here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, we’ve got some terribly cold weather heading our way tonight!

I want to take a moment to share some news from the research side of my life in academia. 🙂 As you know, I research social media and civic and political participation.

I’m very excited because this past Friday, my latest co-authored study was published online in the journal New Media and Society.

This study, “Social Media and Mobiles as Political Mobilization Forces for Young Adults: Examining the Moderating Role of Political Expression in Political Participation,” is an extension of our earlier articles: “More harm than good? Online media use and political disaffection among college students in the 2008 election” (2013) in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, and 2010’s Mass Communication & Society piece, ““Did social media really matter? College students’ use of online media and political decision making in the 2008 election.”

Social Media and Mobiles really seeks to further investigate the seemingly important role of online political expression (such as posting political videos to YouTube, Tweeting about politics, or posting to Facebook, etc.) in political participation. Particularly, the study looks at what role online expression may play in moderating any effects of political media use on participation. Additionally, this study investigated political smart phone app use, something not investigated in the prior two studies.

Here is the abstract:

A web survey of college students was conducted to examine whether online political expression moderates the effects of political media use on political participation. Results showed that online political expression enhanced the effects of political mobile apps, traditional offline and online media, and social media on political participation. Implications are discussed for a mobilizing role of online media in the democratic process for young adults.

You can see my other posts on social media research.

Cheers!

Matt

photo CC zoonabar

The Most Important Tool for Research Collaboration: Dropbox

Now that the semester is over, there are two major things I like to spend my break doing: research projects and optimizing my classes with mods and improvements (or creating new classes, if needed). So, let’s talk about research!

When it comes to research, there is one piece of software I could not live without: the FREE app Dropbox.

Nothing has more fundamentally changed how I do research than Dropbox. That’s because much of my research is collaborative with great scholars such as Dr. Francis Dalisay and Dr. Masahiro Yamamoto. (Yes, not even Mendeley – Not so long ago I talked about how Mendeley reference manager changed my life when it comes to productivity in research).

The Rundown: Dropbox is free and works with Mac or PC, or mobile devices. You get 2 gig for free (at least, that’s how much you got when I signed up), and can get more free space by completing certain actions like getting a friend to sign up (I now have 4.5 free gigs). There are paid versions.

I was under the impression that just about everyone was using a tool like dropbox when collaborating with others on research, until I heard otherwise from numerous colleagues. Many are still relying on the old fashion approach of: Edit and Email. So I thought I’d take a minute to highlight the crucial benefits of synching software for collaboration on any document.

Edit and Email

Before I started using dropbox, my research collaboration life went something like this: One person would work on a manuscript document. When he/she was done, that person emailed the document to me with some comments on changes made. I’d then take my turn when I could and reply back with an attachment of the document updates. Meanwhile, the other person was waiting on me and if it was a busy time of the semester, that may have been several days or a week. If he had downtown and could work on the document, or had a sudden inspiration, he was unable to for fear that I was making edits to the file he had previously sent me and to try and merge the changes between conflicting documents, his new edits and my edits to the original he’d sent me, would be a big pain. This made for a slow, slow, painful process. And that’s only with two authors. Things get exponentially more complicated with 3 or more authors.

Enter Dropbox

As soon as I discovered Dropbox, a file synching service, I quickly convinced my co-authors to adopt it. Here’s why:

Dropbox or other software like SugarSync enables you to share folders with others (through invite) that automatically sync whenever any file in the folder is changed, added, or removed.

The folders are stored on your computer like a regular folder. You treat them exactly like any other folder, including the ability to have subfolders.

For example, if I’m working on a manuscript titled Manuscript.doc, every time I save the file, everyone else who shares the folder with me is automatically updated to the latest version of the file (if their computer is off, it will sync when it is turned back on). When I’m done working on the file and close it, everyone immediately has the latest version of the file. A coauthor can immediately open the file and begin working on it. When she’s done, I can pick right back up, or a third coauthor can begin working (Note: You cannot work on a file simultaneously or there will be a conflicted copy saved to your folder). This eliminates the “hurry up and wait” nature of Edit and Email and the major headache of different coauthors having different versions of the manuscript, such as trying to merge one person’s edits into the latest version.

To avoid the possibility of multiple people trying to work on the file at the same time (which causes a conflicting file to be created in your folder that you then have to manually go through and be sure any conflicts are resolved), we always send a quick email letting the other co-authors know we are about to start working on a document or that we plan to work on a document at from, say, 1-3pm this afternoon.

If I could – I’d give Dropbox a high-five for helping me greatly increase my productivity as a scholar when it comes to collaborative work!

Additional Benefits of Dropbox:

  1. Add / remove files to your group folder – Because the folder syncs, you can quickly add other documents to the folder such as data, data analysis results, etc. and everyone will have access.
  2. Previous Versions: Previous versions of files are automatically saved to Dropbox. You can access previous versions of a file by logging in at dropbox.com.
  3. Multiple devices: The software also synchs your files between your own computers, smart phone, or tablets. So you always have access to these files whether on your work computer or home computer or mobile. I use this all the time not only for research but for teaching materials. This way, I don’t have to lug my work computer home with me if I want to access or work on any files from my home computer.
  4. Backing up: Because my files are synched to the web on dropbox.com, as well as my other devices, if I were to lose my computer or if it were damaged, I wouldn’t lose my files. I use this as a way to back up important documents (like when i was working on my Dissertation!)
  5. Web Access: Don’t have access to your own computer? You can access all your files on dropbox.com. However, any changes you make to files will need to be manually re-uploaded to dropbox.com when you are done.

That’s all for now! Best of luck to everyone who recently submitted to ICA. Hopefully my papers are accepted and I get to see everyone in Seattle!

Do you use Dropbox or a similar synching service for research? What do you like about it? What tips and advice do you have to share with readers? Which synching service is best?