Social Media in Neurosurgery: Using ResearchGate

Neil D Joshi, Bryan Lieber, Karren Wong, Eliana Al-Alam, Nitin Agarwal, Vicki Diaz
World Neurosurgery 2019, 127: e950-e956

BACKGROUND: Neurosurgery is a unique field, which would benefit greatly from increased global collaboration, furthering research efforts. ResearchGate is a social media platform geared toward scientists and researchers.

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the use of ResearchGate for neurosurgical research collaboration and compared the ResearchGate score with more classic bibliometrics. ResearchGate is a unifying social platform that can strengthen global research collaboration (e.g., data sharing) in the neurosurgery community.

METHODS: Publicly available metrics on 3718 neurosurgery clinical faculty and residents in Canada and the United States were obtained from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons Web site. The following metrics were collected: program name, clinician name, sex, attending (yes or no), resident (yes or no), postgraduate year (if resident), and ResearchGate profile (yes or no). ResearchGate score and its components and h index excluding self-citations were collected. Fellows were not included.

RESULTS: Of the 3718 total individuals included, 1338 (36.0%) were present on ResearchGate, comprising 181 women (13.5%) and 1157 men (86.5%). Women and men were present in similar proportions (33.8% of women and 36.3% of men) (χ2 [1, N = 3718] = 1.26; P = 0.26). More faculty were present on ResearchGate than residents (62.4%) (χ2 [1, N = 3718] = 11.42; P = 0.001). A strong positive monotonic correlation between h index and ResearchGate score was shown (rs [1292] = 0.93; P < 0.0005). More than 400 international departments were determined.

CONCLUSIONS: ResearchGate may be a useful platform to increase neurosurgical networking and research collaboration. Its novel bibliometrics are strongly correlated with more classic platforms.


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