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Some journals, organizations leveraging social media


A recent study has determined that some academic journals use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to greatly increase their exposure to a wider audience.

While some organizations and groups have been successful with their social media campaigns, however, most have declined to participate.

The study, conducted by the University of Colorado Cancer Center, examined how 102 dermatology journals, organizations and patient-advocacy groups used social media to increase visibility. The study determined that the most popular patient-advocacy networks tended to have about twice the social media followers of professional organizations, which in turn tended to have about twice the followers of journals.

One of the study’s findings was that prominent journals tended to have the largest social media presence, according to a university news release. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine has more than 400,000 Facebook followers. Not surprisingly, lesser-known journals appear to have a much smaller social-media footprint, if they have one at all. Of the 102 dermatology journals studied, only about 13 percent had a Facebook presence, and only about 14 percent had a Twitter account.

“We find that dermatology journals are increasingly following the lead of major general-medicine journals in using Facebook and Twitter to disseminate their findings,” Robert Dellavalle, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, tells Dermatology Times. “This is good news for the general public that hungers for more guidance in diagnosing and treating skin disease.”

The study findings were published online Nov. 6 in JAMA Dermatology.

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