Social Media Network Analysis of Academic Urologists’ Interaction Within Twitter Microblogging Environment
Objective To characterize academic urology Twitter presence and interaction by subspecialty designation.
Methods Using Twitter application programming interface of available data, 94 000 specific tweets were extracted
for the analysis through the Twitter Developer Program. Academic urologists were defined based on American
Urological Association (AUA) residency program registration of 143 residency programs, with a total of 2377
faculty. Two of 3-factor verification (name, location, specialty) of faculty Twitter account was used. Additional
faculty information including sex, program location, and subspecialty were manually recorded. All elements of
microblogging were captured through Anaconda Navigator. Analyzed tweets were further evaluated using natural
language processing for sentiment association, mentions, and quote tweeted and retweeted. Network analysis based
was performed in Python and R.
Results We identified 143 residency programs with a total of 2377 faculty (1975 men and 402 women). Among all
faculty, 945 (39.7%) had registered Twitter accounts, with the majority being men (759 [80.40%] versus 185 [19.60%]).
Although there were more male academic urologists across programs, women within academic urology were more
likely to have a registered Twitter account overall (46% versus 38.5%) compared with men. When assessing registered
accounts by sex, there was a peak for male faculty in 2014 (10.05% of all accounts registered) and peak for female
faculty in 2015 (2.65%). There was no notable change in faculty account registration during COVID-19 (2019–2020). In
2022, oncology represented the highest total number of registered Twitter users (225), with the highest number of total
tweets (24 622), followers (138 541), and tweets per user per day (0.32). However, andrology (50%) and reconstruction
(51.3%) were 2 of the highest proportionally represented subspecialties within academic urology. Within the context
of conversation surrounding a specified topic (#aua21), female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery (FPMRS)
and endourology demonstrated the total highest number of intersubspecialty conversations.
Conclusions There is a steady increase in Twitter representation among academic urologists, largely unaffected by
COVID-19. While urologic oncology represents the largest group, andrology and reconstructive urology represent
the highest proportion of their respective subspecialties. Interaction analysis highlights the variant interaction among
subspecialties based on topic, with strong direct ties between endourology, FPMRS, and oncology.
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