Twitter tagging cartels, social science Kardashians, and the cult of the guru

Year: 2018

Author: Eacott, Scott

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Building on previous work identifying the ‘cult of the guru’ and ‘social science Kardashians’ in educational leadership research, this paper illuminates a largely overlooked problem for scholarly credibility in an era of impact – Twitter tagging cartels. While there are numerous arguments concerning citation cartels in scientific publishing, where groups of scholars and/or journals share significantly more links with each other than they do to those outside the group, the problems and possibilities offered by social media platforms for scientific communication remain somewhat under-developed. Systematic knowledge on the possibilities of Twitter tagging cartels is surprisingly scarce. We have little knowledge about the phenomenon itself and as impact becomes of greater importance in the academy there is a need for better conceptual and empirical understandings. To provide such insights, this paper will draw on identified social science Kardashians in educational leadership to establish a proof of concept for Twitter tagging cartels. It will empirical examples, theoretical descriptions, and explore the problems and possibilities for the communication of educational leadership research to wider audiences.