This visualization highlights the most ‘engaging’ tweeters and the pattern of engagement between them. Each arch represents some form of communication between two users (either a RTs, Mentions or @ Replies). The size of a user bubble represents the total number of RTs, Mentions or @ Replies within the whole set. The colour of the dots represents the country where the user lives. The activity generated by the SMinR (Social Media in Research) account is documented in the visualization to allow a transparent assessment of its impact on the whole data set.

The visualization clearly shows how the debate is still US driven. @TomHCAnderson (Tom H. C. Anderson) seems to be the most engaged person in the MR online universe, generating/receiving the greatest volume of mentions, RTs and @-replies.

But the US doesn’t simply set the agenda, its main function seems to be acting as a conversation hub and multiplier, a key means of connection between researchers / companies in other countries such as @BernieMalinoff (Canada), @OleAndresen (Norway), @TomDeRuyk (Belgium) and @ResearchLive in the UK.

Interestingly enough most influencers seem to be highly interconnected which is not unusual within small industries. In this case the relatively low degree of separation is probably due more to the limited uptake of social media by researchers. This keeps the conversation space quite small but at the same time facilitates connections between different branches of the industry.

[Privacy Disclaimer: SMinR analysis and results based exclusively on data publicly available on Twitter]

More on the study here “Social Media in Research Study: is the research industry lagging behind?