The Kardashian index: what happens when scientists Tweet more than they publish.

By Seriously Science | August 11, 2014 6:00 am
Photo: flickr/evarinaldiphotography

Photo: flickr/evarinaldiphotography

Does the science world have its own version of the Kardashians? According to this article (written by a British geneticist Neil Hall, who himself has >1500 Twitter followers), certain scientists have way more Twitter followers than should be warranted by their publication records. To measure this effect, he invented the “Kardashian index”, which is a metric similar to the h-index; however, instead of productivity, it measures the “discrepancy between a scientist’s social media profile and publication record.”  Certain scientists have very high “K-index” scores–that is, they’re “renowned for being renowned.”  For those people, Hall says,”[the K-index] can also be an incentive – if your K-index gets above 5, then it’s time to get off Twitter and write those papers.”

The Kardashian index: a measure of discrepant social media profile for scientists.

“In the era of social media there are now many different ways that a scientist can build their public profile; the publication of high-quality scientific papers being just one. While social media is a valuable tool for outreach and the sharing of ideas, there is a danger that this form of communication is gaining too high a value and that we are losing sight of key metrics of scientific value, such as citation indices. To help quantify this, I propose the ‘Kardashian Index’, a measure of discrepancy between a scientist’s social media profile and publication record based on the direct comparison of numbers of citations and Twitter followers.”

Related content:
NCBI ROFL: What your Facebook “Likes” say about you.
NCBI ROFL: 72% of Facebook users would rather have fake friends than no friends.
NCBI ROFL: How academics face the world: a study of 5829 homepage pictures.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: the interwebs
  • argz

    This guy has a lot of time on his hands.


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