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The Use of Twitter by Plastic Surgery Journals

Asyyed, Zeina M.D.; McGuire, Connor B.Sc., M.H.Sc.; Samargandi, Osama M.D., M.H.Sc.; Al-Youha, Sarah Ph.D., F.R.C.S.C.; Williams, Jason G. M.D., M.Ed.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2019 - Volume 143 - Issue 5 - p 1092e-1098e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005535
Plastic Surgery Focus: Special Topics

Background: Social media have revolutionized the way we access information. Twitter is the most popular microblogging website and has become a tool for plastic surgery journals to connect with the greater academic community and public. The purpose of this study was to objectively assess the use of Twitter by plastic surgery journals.

Methods: Twelve plastic surgery journals were searched on Twitter. The following data were collected: age of Twitter profile, number of followers and tweets posted, and whether the journal’s website had a link to Twitter or another social media website. All tweets were reviewed from May to July of 2017 inclusive, and the level of evidence of each original article posted in the tweets was recorded. Impact factor and Klout score (a social media influence score) were collected for all journals.

Results: Six of 12 plastic journals had a Twitter profile. The most social media–influencing journal in plastic surgery was Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This was followed by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal and the Journal of Hand Surgery (American and European Volumes). The presence of a Twitter profile was not associated with a higher impact factor for the journal. The Klout score was correlated with impact factor. Since joining Twitter, five of the six journals with Twitter profiles experienced increases in their impact factor.

Conclusion: Twitter can be a quick and easy-to-use tool to increase exposure to evidence-based information from academic journals in plastic surgery.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Dalhousie Medical School, Dalhousie University, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.

Received for publication April 6, 2018; accepted October 18, 2018.

Presented at the Atlantic Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Annual Meeting 2017, in White Point, Queens, Nova Scotia, Canada, September 22 through 24, 2017.

Disclosure:The authors have no financial disclosures. No funding was received for this work.

Zeina Asyyed, M.D., Division of Plastic Surgery, Halifax Infirmary, Suite 4447-1796, Summer Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3A6, Canada,, Twitter: @zasyyed1

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons