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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Who Are the Most Influential Emergency Physicians on Twitter?


Introduction: Twitter has recently gained popularity in emergency medicine (EM). Opinion leaders on Twitter have significant influence on the conversation and content, yet little is known about these opinion leaders. We aimed to describe a methodology to identify the most influential emergency physicians (EPs) on Twitter and present a current list.

Methods: We analyzed 2,234 English language EPs on Twitter from a previously published list of Twitter accounts generated by a snowball sampling technique. Using NodeXL software, we performed a network analysis of these EPs and ranked them on three measures of influence: in-degree centrality, Eigenvector centrality, and betweenness centrality. We analyzed the top 100 users in each of these three measures of influence and compiled a list of users found in the top 100 in all three measures.

Results: Of the 300 total users identified by one of the measures of influence, there were 142 unique users. Of the 142 unique users, 61 users were in the top 100 on all three measures of influence. We identify these 61 users as the most influential EM Twitter users.

Conclusion: We both describe a method for identifying the most influential users and provide a list of the 61 most influential EPs on Twitter as of January 1, 2016. This application of network science to the EM Twitter community can guide future research to better understand the networked global community of EM.

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