Optimal Dissemination of Scientific Manuscripts via Social Media: A Prospective Trial Comparing Visual Abstracts Versus Key Figures in Consecutive Original Manuscripts Published in European Urology

Zachary Klaassen, Emily Vertosick, Andrew J. Vickers, Melissa J. Assel, Giacomo Novara, Cathy Pierce, Christopher J.D. Wallis, Alessandro Larcher, Matthew R. Cooperberg, James W.F. Catto, Alexander Kutikov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Visual abstracts (VAs) are graphical representations of the key findings in manuscripts and have been adopted by many journals to improve content dissemination via social media. We sought to assess whether VAs, compared to key figures (KFs), increased reader engagement via social media using articles published in European Urology. We prospectively randomized 200 consecutive new publications to representation on Twitter and Instagram using either a VA (n = 99) or a KF (n = 101). Randomization was stratified by prostate cancer content. The primary outcome was Twitter impressions. Secondary outcomes included Twitter total engagements, link clicks, likes, and retweets, as well as Instagram likes. Analysis of covariance was conducted using the stratification variable as a covariate. We found that Twitter impressions were greater for tweets containing VAs compared to KFs (8385 vs 6882; adjusted difference 1480, 95% confidence interval [CI] 434–2526; p = 0.006). VA use was also associated with more retweets and likes (p < 0.002), but fewer full-article link clicks than KFs (60 vs 105, adjusted difference 45, 95% CI 21–70; p = 0.0004). The choice between VA and KF should depend on the relative value given to impressions versus full-article link clicks. Patient summary: We found that use of a visual abstract increases the social media reach of new urology articles when compared to key figures from the manuscript, but was associated in a significantly lower click-through rate. In the increasingly virtual world of academic medicine, these findings may assist authors, editors, and publishers with dissemination of new research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean urology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Instagram
  • Social media
  • Twitter
  • Urology
  • Visual abstract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal Dissemination of Scientific Manuscripts via Social Media: A Prospective Trial Comparing Visual Abstracts Versus Key Figures in Consecutive Original Manuscripts Published in European Urology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this