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Ophthalmology on social networking sites: an observational study of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

Authors Micieli J, Tsui E

Received 10 December 2014

Accepted for publication 7 January 2015

Published 10 February 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 285—290

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S79032

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Jonathan A Micieli,1 Edmund Tsui2


1Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; 2Department of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA

Background: The use of social media in ophthalmology remains largely unknown. Our aim was to evaluate the extent and involvement of ophthalmology journals, professional associations, trade publications, and patient advocacy and fundraising groups on social networking sites.
Methods: An archived list of 107 ophthalmology journals from SCImago, trade publications, professional ophthalmology associations, and patient advocacy organizations were searched for their presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Activity and popularity of each account was quantified by using the number of “likes” on Facebook, the number of followers on Twitter, and members on LinkedIn.
Results: Of the 107 journals ranked by SCImago, 21.5% were present on Facebook and 18.7% were present on Twitter. Journal of Community Eye Health was the most popular on Facebook and JAMA Ophthalmology was most popular on Twitter. Among the 133 members of the International Council of Ophthalmology, 17.3% were present on Facebook, 12.8% were present on Twitter, and 7.5% were present on LinkedIn. The most popular on Facebook was the International Council of Ophthalmology, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology was most popular on Twitter and LinkedIn. Patient advocacy organizations were more popular on all sites compared with journals, professional association, and trade publications. Among the top ten most popular pages in each category, patient advocacy groups were most active followed by trade publications, professional associations, and journals.
Conclusion: Patient advocacy groups lead the way in social networking followed by professional organizations and journals. Although some journals use social media, most have yet to engage its full potential and maximize the number of potential interested individuals.

Keywords: social media, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, ophthalmology

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