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Vol. 47. Issue 6.
Pages 357-358 (June 2023)
Vol. 47. Issue 6.
Pages 357-358 (June 2023)
Letter to the Editor
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Social networks and scientific rigor: A new battle on the horizon?
Redes sociales y rigor científico: ¿una nueva batalla en el horizonte?
Alejandro González-Castroa,b,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Raquel Ferrero-Francoc, Elena Cuenca Fitoa
a Servicio de Medicina Intensiva, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain
b Grupo Internacional de Ventilación Mecánica (WeVent), Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain
c Servicio Cántabro de Salud, Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain
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Tables (1)
Table 1. The main journals in Intensive Care Medicine, ordered by impact factor in 2021, Twitter® account, and number of followers updated on 5 January 2023.
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The divulgation of scientific research is essential. Peer review by medical journals has become the gold standard in recent decades for ensuring the quality and adequacy of the articles that are published. This process involves the independent and critical evaluation of an article by expert peers.1

In this context, the impact factor (IF) has been a measure of the importance of a scientific journal, based on the citations received by the articles it publishes. The IF is a tool used to compare journals and assess the relative importance of a given journal with respect to others within the same scientific field. Specifically, the IF of a journal measures the mean number of times the articles published in it have been cited in the course of a given year.2

However, entry into different social networks (SNs) has been made as part of the strategic objectives of many scientific publications. The reason behind this is fundamented on a novel reality: the new role of scientific interactivity in the biomedical field, the influence of the visibility of a journal on the web in order to increase its IF, and the advantages afforded for promoting the internationalization of the publication.3

However, scientific rigor - as measured by the IF of a journal - and repercussion in the SNs (taking Twitter® as an example), do not seem to match very well (Table 1).

Table 1.

The main journals in Intensive Care Medicine, ordered by impact factor in 2021, Twitter® account, and number of followers updated on 5 January 2023.

Journal  Impact factor 2021  Twitter account  Followers (January 2023) 
Lancet Respir Med  102.6  @LancetRespirMed  23.7 thousand 
Intensive Care Med  41.8  @yourICM  55.3 thousand 
Am J Respir Crit Care  30.5  @ATSBlueEditor  16.7 thousand 
Crit Care  19.3  @crit_care  50.2 thousand 
Ann Intensive Care  10 3  @of_aic  1827 
Chest  10 3  @accpchest  40 thousand 
Crit Care Med  9,3  @CritCareMed  47.1 thousand 
J Intensive Care  7.5     
Anaesth Crit Care Pain Med  7.0  @AnesthCritCare  14.1 thousand 
Resuscitation  6.3  @ResusJournal  3194 
Crit Care Resusc  5.7  @CCRJournal  606 
J Neurotraum  4.9  @J Neurotrauma  558 
J Crit Care  4.3     
Pediatr Crit Care Med  4.0  @PedCritCareMed  14.6 thousand 
Semin Resp Crit Care  3.9     
Crit Care Clin  3.9  @CritCareClinics  5963 
J Trauma Acute Care Surg  3.7  @JTraumAcuteSurg  22.4 thousand 
Shock  3.5  @ShockJournal  783 
Neurocrit Care  3.5  @NeurocritCareJ  6162 
Minerva Anestesiol  3.4     
Curr Opin Crit Care  3.4     
Aust Crit Care  3.3  @AUS_CC  2537 
J Cardiothor Vasc Anesth  2.9  @JCVAonline  7025 
J Intensive Care Med  2.9     
Med Intensiva  2.8  @intensiva_med  3806 
Injury  2.7     
Burns  2.6  @BurnJournalClub  1033 
Resp Care  2.3  @respcare  12.5 thousand 
Am J Crit Care  2.2  @ajccme  5836 
Crit Care Nurse  2.2  @CCNme  2955 
J Burn Care Res  1.8     
Anaesth Intensive Care  1.5  @AlCjournal  – 
Ther Hypot Temp Manage  1.4     
J Trauma Nurs  0.9  @IJOTN  204 
Anasth Intensive Notf Anasthes  0.7     
Anasth Intensive Med  0.6     

Obviating (perhaps needlessly so) payment for publication, do we seek rigor? Divulgation? The combination of both, if possible…?

In the case of researchers, a preference is observed for choosing scientific journals where the editorial product forms part of virtual communities. In other words, SNs represent an important window for divulgation among academics and diffusion between specialists and their audiences.4

But we must be careful when “clicking” on “re-send” and “likes”: the technique used by Goebbels as head of propaganda of the Nazi Party and later of the Third Reich can be summarized in a single phrase attributed to him: “A lie, if repeated a thousand times, becomes the truth…”.5


The present study has received no funding of any kind.

Conflict of interest

The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest in relation to this study.

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Social networks and impact factor of medical journals.
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Publish or perish the myth and reality of academic publishing.
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