Likes, comments, and shares of marine organism imagery on Facebook

For the week of 06 May 2019

Greetings OpenChannels Community Members,

PeerJ has published, Likes, comments, and shares of marine organism imagery on Facebook.

Abstract: "Several calls to action urge scientists and science communicators to engage more with online communities. While these calls have been answered by a high percentage of scientists and science communicators online, it often remains unclear what are the best models for effective communication. Best practices and methods for online science communication can benefit from experimental and quantitative research addressing how and when users engage with online content. This study addresses with quantitative and predictive models a key question for the popular, but often-ignored in science communication, social media platform Facebook. Specifically, this study examines the impact of imagery through quantification of likes, comments, and shares on Facebook posts. Here, I show that a basic quantitative model can be useful in predicting response to marine organism imagery on Facebook. The results of this online experiment suggest image type, novelty, and aesthetics impact the number of likes, shares, and comments on a post. In addition, the likes, shares, and comments on images did not follow traditional definitions of “charismatic megafauna”, with cephalopods and bony fishes receiving more interactions than cartilaginous fishes and marine mammals. Length and quality of caption did not significantly impact likes, comments, or shares. This study provides one of the first quantitative analysis of virality of scientific images via social media. The results challenge previously held conceptions of social media scientific outreach including increasing emphasis on imagery selection and curation, notions of which taxa the public connect with, and role of captions for imagery."

As always, if we've missed anything, please feel free to let us know. You may simply reply to this message, or you may email Allie directly at: abrown [at]

You can read everything (not just the free stuff) we have found this week at

Additionally, you can browse literature by the week we've added it at

Thank you for being part of the OpenChannels Community,
– Allie Brown, Raye Evrard, and the rest of the OpenChannels Team


OA: Reimer, J. Davis et al. Marine biodiversity research in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan: current status and trends. PeerJ 7, e6532 (2019).

Blue Economy

OA: Cohen, P. J. et al. Securing a Just Space for Small-Scale Fisheries in the Blue Economy. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).

Communication and Education

OA: McClain, C. R. Likes, comments, and shares of marine organism imagery on Facebook. PeerJ 7, e6795 (2019).


OA: Wijayanti, D. P. et al. Reproductive Seasonality of Coral Assemblages in the Karimunjawa Archipelago, Indonesia. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).

OA: Storlazzi, C. D. et al. Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction. USGS Numbered Series (U.S. Geological Survey, 2019). doi:10.3133/ofr20191027

OA: Paparella, F., Xu, C., Vaughan, G. O. & Burt, J. A. Coral Bleaching in the Persian/Arabian Gulf Is Modulated by Summer Winds. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).

Distributions of Species

OA: Becker, S. L., Brainard, R. E. & Van Houtan, K. S. Densities and drivers of sea turtle populations across Pacific coral reef ecosystems. PLOS ONE 14, e0214972 (2019).

Ecosystem Services and Uses

OA: Möller, I. Applying Uncertain Science to Nature-Based Coastal Protection: Lessons From Shallow Wetland-Dominated Shores. Frontiers in Environmental Science 7, (2019).

Governance and Legal Frameworks

OA: Kelly, C., Ellis, G. & Flannery, W. Unravelling Persistent Problems to Transformative Marine Governance. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).


OA: Sorokina, T. Yu. A national system of biological monitoring in the Russian Arctic as a tool for the implementation of the Stockholm Convention. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics (2019). doi:10.1007/s10784-019-09436-9

OA: Deininger, A. & Frigstad, H. Reevaluating the Role of Organic Matter Sources for Coastal Eutrophication, Oligotrophication, and Ecosystem Health. Frontiers in Marine Science6, (2019).

Pollution and Marine Debris

OA: Schwarz, A. E., Ligthart, T. N., Boukris, E. & van Harmelen, T. Sources, transport, and accumulation of different types of plastic litter in aquatic environments: A review study. Marine Pollution Bulletin 143, 92 - 100 (2019).

Social-Ecological Systems and Human Wellbeing

OA: Leong, K. M., Wongbusarakum, S., Ingram, R. J., Mawyer, A. & Poe, M. R. Improving Representation of Human Well-Being and Cultural Importance in Conceptualizing the West Hawai‘i Ecosystem. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).

Tools and Data

OA: Williams, I. D. et al. Leveraging Automated Image Analysis Tools to Transform Our Capacity to Assess Status and Trends of Coral Reefs. Frontiers in Marine Science 6, (2019).