Scholarly Sharing via Twitter: #icanhazpdf Requests for Health Sciences Literature
Introduction: Although requesting access to journal articles and books via colleagues and authors is a long-established academic practice, websites and social media platforms have broadened the scope and visibility of academic literature sharing among researchers. On Twitter, the #icanhazpdf hashtag has emerged as a way for researchers to request and obtain journal articles quickly and efficiently. This study analyzes use of the #icanhazpdf hashtag as a means of obtaining health sciences literature. Methods: RowFeeder software was used to monitor and aggregate #icanhazpdf requests between 1 February and 30 April 2015. This software records data such as Twitter handle, tweet content, tweeter location, date, and time. Tweets were hand-coded for the journal subject area, the requestor’s geographic location, and the requestor’s occupational sector. Results: There were 302 requests for health sciences literature during the study period. Many requests were made by users affiliated with a post-secondary academic institution (45%, n = 136). Very few requests were made by users located in Canada (n = 15). Conclusion: #icanhazpdf requests for health sciences literature account for a relatively small proportion of peer-to-peer article sharing activities when compared with other online platforms. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that some faculty and students are choosing social media over the library as a means of obtaining health sciences literature. Examining peer-to-peer article sharing practices can provide insights into patron behaviour and expectations.
2. Salo D. Academic Samizdat [Internet]. [place unknown]: ScienceBlogs; 2010 [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://scienceblogs.com/bookoftrogool/2010/02/09/academicsamizdat/
3. Wren JD. Open access and openly accessible: a study of scientific publications shared via the internet. BMJ. 2005; 330(7500):1128. doi: 10.1136/bmj.38422.611736.E0.
4. Masters K. Opening the non-open access medical journals: Internet-based sharing of journal articles on a medical website. Internet J Med Informat [Internet]. 2008 [cited 30 Nov 2015];5(1):1–9. Available from: http://ispub.com/IJMI/5/1/6971
5. Cabanac G. Bibliogifts in LibGen? A study of a text-sharing platform driven by biblioleaks and crowdsourcing. J Assoc Informat Sci Technol. 2015. doi: 10.1002/asi.23445.
6. Greenhill K, Wiebrands C. No library required: the free and easy backwaters of online content sharing. In: VALA 2012: 16th Biennial Conference and Exhibition [Internet]; 2012 Feb 6–9; Melbourne, Australia. [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://espace.library.curtin.edu.au/R?func=dbin-jump-full&local_base=gen01-era02&object_id=180950
7. England M, Jones P. Diversification of access pathways and the role of demand-driven acquisition: a case study at the University of Utah. Serials Libr. 2014;66(1–4):96–105. doi: 10.1080/0361526X.2014.879012.
8. Clarke, C. The end of an era for Academia.edu and other academic networks? [Internet]. Wheat Ridge, CO: The Scholarly Kitchen; 2013 [cited 22 Jan 2016]. Available from: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2013/12/11/has-elsevier-signaled-a-new-era-for-academia-edu-and-other-professional-networks/
9. Gardner CC, Gardner GJ. Bypassing interlibrary loan via twitter: an exploration of #icanhazpdf requests. In: ACRL 2015 [Internet]; 2015 Mar 25–28; Portland (OR). [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2015/Gardner.pdf
10. Liu J. Interactions: the numbers behind #ICanHazPDF [Internet]. London: Altmetric.com; 2013 [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://www.altmetric.com/blog/interactions-the-numbers-behind-icanhazpdf/
11. RowFeeder [Internet]. Seattle (WA): Simply Measured; 2011 [cited 22 Jan 2016]. Available from: https://rowfeeder.com/
12. Rich P. Where is everyone? Canadian physician use of social media. In: Medicine 2.0 Summit & World Conference [Internet]; 2014 Nov 13–14; Maui, Hawaii. [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://www.medicine20congress.com/ocs/index.php/med/med2014/paper/view/2202
13. Clairoux N, Weiss-Lambrou R. Social media use in medical and health professional education: role of the librarian on a faculty steering committee. In: Canadian Health Libraries Association Conference [Internet]; 2015 Jun 19–22; Vancouver, Canada. [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/12222
14. Kukreja P, Heck Sheehan A, Riggins J. Use of social media by pharmacy preceptors. Am J Pharm Educ. 2011;75(9):176. doi: 10.5688/ajpe759176.
15. Clauson K, Singh-Franco D, Sircar-Ramsewak F, Joseph S, Sandars J. Social media use and educational preferences among first-year pharmacy students. Teach Learn Med. 2013;25:122–8. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2013.770742.
16. Tuckett A, Turner C. Do you use social media? A study into new nursing and midwifery graduates’ uptake of social media. Int J Nurs Pract. 2015. doi: 10.1111/ijn.12411.
17. Connaway LS, Dickey TJ, Radford ML. “If it is too inconvenient I’m not going after it”: convenience as a critical factor in information-seeking behaviors. Libr Inform Sci Res. 2011;33(3):179–90. doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2010.12.002.
18. Veletsianos G. Open practices and identity: evidence from researchers and educators’ social media participation. Br J Educ Technol. 2013;44(4):639–51. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12052.
19. Dunn AG, Coiera E, Mandl KD. Is biblioleaks inevitable? J Med Internet Res. 2014;16(4):e112. doi: 10.2196/jmir.3331.
20. Kroll D. #icanhazpdf: civil disobedience? [Internet]. Washington (DC): Terra Sigillata; 2011 [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://cenblog.org/terra-sigillata/2011/12/22/icanhazpdf-civil-disobedience/
21. Mohdin A. Academics have found a way to access insanely expensive research papers—for free [Internet]. Washington (DC): Quartz; 2015 [cited 30 Nov 2015]. Available from: http://qz.com/528526/academics-have-found-a-way-to-access-insanely-expensive-research-papers-for-free/
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.