Article by Bush School Scholars Ranks High in Online Readership

August 21, 2015

Climate change

An article by ISTPP Associate Research Scientist Xinsheng Liu and Director Arnold Vedlitz, along with Institute Senior Fellows James Stoutenborough and Scott Robinson, in the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change has been ranked one of the most widely read articles online by Altmetric, an organization that measures scholarly articles’ digital impact and reach.

The article, “Scientists’ Views and Positions on Global Warming and Climate Change: A Content Analysis of Congressional Testimonies,” looked at whether the views and positions given by scientists during congressional testimony were divided or consistent on the reality and human cause of global warming and climate change.

Altmetric currently gives this article a score of eighty-nine and notes that it has done particularly well, ranking in the top five percent of all articles ever tracked by Altmetric.  The article was also ranked number one of sixty-five articles of a similar age (published within six weeks of each other) published in Climatic Change.

Traditionally, publishers of scientific journals have measured the impact of a research article by the number of times it is cited in other publications by other researchers. Altmetric tracks, collects, and measures data gathered from places where professionals and members of the public talk about science online—blogs, Twitter, Facebook, message boards, and mainstream newspapers and magazines. This allows researchers and publishers to see what people are saying about a scholarly paper and how much attention it is receiving relative to peer articles.

“This new way of gathering and analyzing data about a particular publication’s digital impact is an important step in understanding how much impact our work is having,” said Vedlitz. “It’s especially important when the research is on a subject as critical as climate change,” he added.

The cited article can be found at: “Scientists’ Views and Positions on Global Warming and Climate Change: A Content Analysis of Congressional Testimonies,” Climatic Change (2015) 131:487–503.


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