We are cetainly not the first ones to have asked this question! But we think we might be the first ones who tried to answer it using a randomised study design!
We like Social Media for many reasons, as our year-long presence on twitter and facebook shows (hey, we even have a Social Media category in our blog, as well as a relevant Editoral -check them out). As much as we like them, however, as Editors of a scientific journal, as authors and as readers we could not help but wonder: does exposure of scientific papers on Social Media have an effect on traditional impact measures such as downloads and citations?
We hope that our study will stimule some nice discussions between social media users about their effect in scientific papers (and how to measure it). As a corresponding author, I very much look forward to your comments! Thank you!