We’re really pleased to announce that we’re now collecting data from Sina Weibo, and it’ll start appearing in visualisations and on the details pages soon.
You may have noticed that on the demographics tab for most articles China doesn’t usually show much attention, even when the paper is by Chinese authors. That’s because Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia are all blocked in mainland China.
Chinese researchers do talk about academic papers though, just elsewhere. One of the requests we see most often from publishers is for us track systems like Sina Weibo, which is a popular microblogging service of a similar size to Twitter – with half a billion users and some 100 million messages per day.
Never let it be said that we don’t listen! You’ll start seeing the data soon:
An unscientific study – me eyeballing the data – suggests that the volume of links on Sina Weibo to the scholarly journals we track is between 10 and 20% that of Twitter, putting it in the same league as Google+. That said, this could be because we don’t yet index many wholly Chinese journals (China has its own infrastructure for scholarly publications). It’s really tricky to figure out these kinds of biases without any indications from the data, so hopefully we’ll now be able to improve on that front too.
China isn’t the only country where users prefer local systems over international (usually American) ones. In Russian speaking territories, for example, vk.com is Facebook’s primary competitor with 239 million users.
We’re always on the lookout for new data sources, so let us know if you’re aware of any that we really should be tracking.
In the meantime – we think Sina Weibo data will be a great supplement to the sources authors already see mentions from, and unlock a bunch of new, interesting use cases. Have fun exploring!