Top of the charts: Beedie professors top Google Metrics list

Aug 03, 2016


Ian McCarthy

Professor Ian McCarthy.

The music industry has Billboard, the business world has Forbes 500. Now, ranking successful academic papers has been made possible by Google Metrics – and Beedie School of Business professors Jan Kietzmann and Ian McCarthy rank as stars in business and management.

Kietzmann and McCarthy’s seminal paper, Social Media? Get Serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media, is the highest ranked paper over five years in the Business, Economics and Management category of Google Metrics. As of June 2016 it has been cited 1,741 times, leading its closest competitor by 300 citations.

The paper introduces the Social Media Honeycomb, which illustrates how people engage with social media and how to develop social media practices in an organization. It was introduced at a pivotal time when researchers and managers were grasping to understand how social media is best used to engage with their audience.

Businesses, universities, unions and health care associations around the world have used the Honeycomb framework to implement social media strategy.

Jan Kietzmann

Associate professor Jan Kietzmann.

“At one end of the spectrum you have students calling to learn about social media for high-school assignments, while at the other end, there’s the Department of Health in the U.S. saying that the model should be used by health care professionals to develop social media strategies,” said McCarthy.”It’s very rewarding to know that people are reading and using your work.”

To McCarthy, Kietzmann, and many others, Google Metrics is simply another tool in the academics toolkit to gauge and exemplify the influence of their research.

“In the same way that you can track brands, conversations and consumer sentiment on the internet, you can also track the sort of impact that a paper makes and its ripple effects,” said McCarthy. “So, while Google Scholar and Scholar Metrics are imperfect (just like most research studies), they are interesting and useful for identifying and reading research papers that these metrics consider to be impactful.”

Top ten most highly cited research papers in Business, Economics and Management 2011 - 2015 copy

Source: June 2016 version of Google Scholar Metrics.