The usefulness of social media analysis within scholarly publications: a study of first-tier tourism journals

Antonio Pelaez-Verdet, Manuel Ferrera-Blasco


The introduction of social network techniques in scholarly research analysis has driven a better understanding of the main authors and their debates. These tools have improved the traditional bibliographic models considerably. The present analysis applied the centrality indicators from social network analysis to first-tier journal articles (index: Journal Citation Reports (SSE)). The results revealed that journal specialization within the tourism theme is consistently in line with their editorial line, with minor issues detected. When it comes to academic debate, however, the topics are not concentrated homogenously. The authors at the center of the debate are not always the most prolific, yet it turns out that co-authoring helps them to gain central positions within the debate.


social media; tourism; first-tier journals; author networks; literature review

Full Text:



Aarstad, J., Ness, H., & Haugland, S. A. (2015). Innovation, uncertainty, and inter-firm shortcut ties in a tourism destination context. Tourism Management, 48, 354–361. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2014.12.005

Borgatti, S. P., Mehra, A., Brass, D. J., & Labianca, G. (2009). Network analysis in the social sciences. Science (New York, N.Y.), 323(5916), 892–895. doi:10.1126/science.1165821

Breiger, R. L. (2004). The Analysis of Social Networks. Handbook of Data Analysis, 505–526. doi:10.4135/9781848608184.n22

Dorogovtsev, S. (2010). Lectures on Complex Networks. Oxford University Press.

Feeley, T. H. (2008). A Bibliometric Analysis of Communication Journals from 2002 to 2005. Human Communication Research, 34(3), 505–520. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2958.2008.00330.x

Fiala, D. (2012). Bibliometric analysis of CiteSeer data for countries. Information Processing & Management, 48(2), 242–253. doi:

Friese, S. (2013). Atlas.TI 7 User Manual. Berlin: Scientific Software Development.

Hall, C. M., & Page, S. J. (2015). Following the impact factor: Utilitarianism or academic compliance? Tourism Management, 51, 309–312. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.05.013

Iwami, S., Mori, J., Kajikawa, Y., & Sakata, I. (2013). Comparison of indicators to detect emerging researches using time transition in quasicrystals. In 2013 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (pp. 48–52). IEEE.

Kim, Y., Choi, T. Y., Yan, T., & Dooley, K. (2011). Structural investigation of supply networks: A social network analysis approach. Journal of Operations Management, 29(3), 194–211.

Law, R. (2010). An Analysis of the Impact of Tourism Journals on Google Scholar. In Gretzel, U and Law, R and Fuchs, M (Ed.), INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES IN TOURISM 2010 (pp. 333–343). doi:10.1007/978-3-211-99407-8_28

Law, R., & Li, G. (2015). Accuracy of impact factors in tourism journals. Annals of Tourism Research, 50, 19–21.

Leydesdorff, L. (2009). How are new citation-based journal indicators adding to the bibliometric toolbox? Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 60(7), 1327–1336. doi:10.1002/asi.21024

Li, J., Yang, M., & Pan, B. (2015). Network Analysis of Navigation Paths of Tourists’ Trip Planning and Power Structure of the Online Tourism in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 1665(April), 1–15. doi:10.1080/10941665.2014.998249

Luz, N., Almeida, A., Anacleto, R., & Silva, N. (2013). Collective intelligence in toursplan: an online tourism social network with planning and recommendation services. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering - C3S2E ’13 (pp. 42–48). Retrieved from

McKercher, B. (2015). Why and where to publish. Tourism Management, 51, 306–308. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.05.012

McKercher, B., Law, R., & Lam, T. (2006). Rating tourism and hospitality journals. Tourism Management, 27(6), 1235–1252.

McKercher, B., & Tung, V. (2015). Publishing in tourism and hospitality journals: Is the past a prelude to the future? Tourism Management, 50, 306–315. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.03.008

Mislove, A., Marcon, M., Gummadi, K. P., Druschel, P., & Bhattacharjee, B. (2007). Measurement and analysis of online social networks. In Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCOMM Conference on Internet Measurement - IMC ’07 (pp. 29–42). doi:10.1145/1298306.1298311

Opsahl, T., Agneessens, F., & Skvoretz, J. (2010). Node centrality in weighted networks: Generalizing degree and shortest paths. Social Networks, 32(3), 245–251.

Perdue, R. R. (2015). The unintended consequences of impact factors on tourism research: Thoughts and comments. Tourism Management, 51, 303–305. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.05.011

Poria, Y., Schwartz, Z., & Uysal, M. (2015). IF you can keep your head: The unintended consequences of the Impact Factor on tourism research. Tourism Management, 51, 300–302. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.05.010

Radev, D. R., Joseph, M. T., Gibson, B., & Muthukrishnan, P. (2009). A bibliometric and network analysis of the field of computational linguistics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 1001, 41092–48109.

Santos, J. A. C., & Santos, M. C. (2016). Co-authorship networks: Collaborative research structures at the journal level. Tourism & Management Studies, 12(1), 5–13. doi:10.18089/tms.2016.12101

Takacs, K. (2009). Social and Economic Networks. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation (Vol. 12).

Talmale, M. S., & Singh, S. N. (2015). Web-Based Information Resources on Scientometrics: A Study. International Journal of Information Dissemination & Technology, 5(4).

Timothy, D. J. (2015). Impact factors: Influencing careers, creativity and academic freedom. Tourism Management, 51, 313–315. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.05.009

van Eck, N. J., & Waltman, L. (2014). Visualizing Bibliometric Networks. In Y. Ding, R. Rousseau, & D. Wolfram (Eds.), Measuring Scholarly Impact: Methods and Practice (pp. 285–320). Cham: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-10377-8_13

Copyright (c) 2017 Tourism & Management Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.