Who am I?

My name is Fereshteh Didegah and I am a lecturer at iSchool, University of British Columbia, where I teach and develop courses in Scholarly Communications and Research Data Management. I am also a research associate at the Scholarly Communication Lab, Simon Fraser University, where I am collaborating in a SSHRC funded project on understanding the societal impact of research through social media.

What was my PhD thesis about?

I completed my PhD in Statistical Cybermetrics Research Group, School of Mathematics and Computing, University of Wolverhampton, UK. My PhD supervisor, Mike Thelwall, who is my role model in life, played a key role in the success of my project. In my thesis, I applied advanced statistical tests to model factors that help authors to publish high impact articles.

What are my research interests?

My main research interests are investigating the motivations and reasons for citation and social media counts.

In my current project, I am focusing on communicating academic research outputs to society and increasing interactions between lay people and academia. I am interested in examining different ways and factors that can enhance these interactions.

My research interests in bibliometrics and scientometrics

  • Citation reasons; citation motivations; citation theory.
  • Different patterns of research collaboration.
  • Research internationality.
  • Research interdisciplinarity.
  • Co-citation and bibliographich coupling analysis.

My research interests in altmetrics and social media metrics

  • Differences between citations and new alternative metrics.
  • Differences between various altmetric platfroms.
  • Social media networking.
  • Public engagement in scientific outputs.
  • Science and society interactions.

My recent projects:

1. We recently worked on a project to detect the public’s concerns about Diabetes and compare it with related research. The project aimed to uncover the areas of public interest and needs, as seen in online platforms, and their relationship to the published research. In particular, topic modeling was used to investigate to what extent the language used on a popular diabetes forum aligns with the language used in published research articles and on Wikipedia pages about diabetes. The results show that not all the highly discussed topics on the diabetes forum are of interest to researchers. While a high percentage of research outputs discuss diabetes testing methods, control and treatments, a large number of forum posts focused on topics of emotional support and motivation for patients and diabetes diet. See the presentation of the initial findings here: Comparing topics of interest...

2. In collaboration with Mike Thelwall, we compared three networks with each other: co-citation, co-tweet and co-read networks in order to investigate whether tweeters and Mendeley users tend to tweet or read the same kind of articles that they cite. The results show surprisingly minor overall overlaps between the three phenomena. The importance of journals for Twitter and the presence of many bots at various different levels of activity suggests that this site has little value for impact altmetrics. The moderate differences between patterns of readership and citation suggest that Mendeley can be used for some types of impact assessments, but sensitivity is needed for underlying differences (Didegah, F. & Thelwall, M. (coming soon). Co-read, co-tweet, and co-citation networks. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology). See the presentation of the initial findings here: Co-read, co-tweet, and ...