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Tongue-in-cheek ‘Kardashian-index’ raises awareness of cult of celebrity in sciences

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Posted August 6, 2014
Tongue-in-cheek “Kardashian-index” raises awareness of cult of celebrity in sciences
Twitter followers versus number of scientific citations for a sort-of-random sample of researcher tweeters. Red crosses represent female tweeters and blue crosses represent male tweeters. The black trendline describes the best fit to the data. Those individuals with a highly overinflated number of followers (when compared with the number predicted by the trendline) are highlighted by the area labeled Kardashians. Credit: Hall , Genome Biology 2014 15:424 doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0424-0

Neil Hall, a genomics professor with the University of Liverpool, has kicked up a bit of an Internet storm. He’s written a paper and has had it published in the journal Genome Biology, suggesting (with tongue firmly in cheek) that some scientists are getting more attention than they deserve, due to their heightened social standing. He’s even come up with a way to measure it, his so-called “Kardashian-index” or more simply, K-index—it’s derived by noting how many people are following the scientist on Twitter and then dividing that number by followers the scientist probably should have due to papers written and associated citations for it, i.e. proof of actual work done.



Read more at: Phys.org

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