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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dermatology Online Journal

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Social media (SoMe) enhances exposure of dermatology articles


Social media (SoMe) refers to a variety of virtual platforms used to enhance sharing of information. To evaluate the influence of SoMe with regards to views and downloads of published dermatology articles, we conducted a retrospective study from July 2020-March 2021 examining articles published on Instagram and Twitter under Dermatology Online Journal (DOJ) accounts and compared these with type-matched and issue-matched articles that were not posted on social media. During this time period, 163 total articles of the three types used for social media (Case Report, Case Presentation, and Photo Vignette) were published in DOJ and 15 were promoted via SoMe. Utilization of SoMe demonstrated a significant (P<0.0001) positive effect with regards to both views (175.5±16.4) and downloads (31.5±4.0) over matched articles not published on SoMe. Similar trends illustrating the positive effect of SoMe on readership have been previously observed in the field of dermatology as well as other medical specialties. Most direct accessions to articles arrived via Instagram rather than Twitter, diverging from previous studies on SoMe use in medical journals. Social media, in particular Instagram, can be a successful platform to enhance the exposure of peer-reviewed medical information.

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