Social Media and the Politics of Small Data: Post Publication Peer Review and Academic Value

Blackman, Lisa. 2016. Social Media and the Politics of Small Data: Post Publication Peer Review and Academic Value. Theory, Culture & Society, 33(4), pp. 3-26. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Academics across the sciences and humanities are increasingly being encouraged to use social media as a post-publication strategy to enhance and extend the impact of their articles and books. As well as various measures of social media impact, the turn towards publication outlets which are open access and free to use is contributing to anxieties over where, what and how to publish. This is all the more pernicious given the increasing measures of academic value that govern the academy, and the stresses, strains and hidden injuries that structure academic life. This article will debate these issues and their consequences for the humanities and social sciences by analysing the contours of a recent controversy in academic science publishing, which follows the after-lives of a highly cited journal article. This includes a discussion of the value and status of post-publication peer review, and the politics of open access publishing, of citation and the public communication of science within digital environments and archives.

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Identification Number (DOI):


affect, altmetrics, contagion, hauntology, post-publication peer review, small data, social media

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


30 July 2016Published
17 June 2015Published Online
16 March 2015Accepted

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Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2015 09:48

Last Modified:

27 Jun 2017 13:42

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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