Educational Leadership Researchers, (Social) Scientific Credibility, and the Kardashian Index
9 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2018
Date Written: April 25, 2018
At a time when universities are encouraging academics to increase engagement and impact while also increasing the publication of papers in high quality outlets, social media has become a valuable tool to achieve greater outreach and dissemination of work to a broad audience. However, popularity, or even the celebrity status that can be attained through social media does not always correlate with more traditional / standard measures of academic value such as citation metrics. In a recent paper, Eacott’s (2017) argued that there was a ‘cult of the guru’ in field of educational leadership. The central thesis of this paper is that it is possible to generate empirical evidence that can inform ongoing dialogue and debate regarding the credibility of researchers. Drawing on Hall’s (2014) ‘Kardashian index’ (K-index), a measure of discrepancy between a scientist’s social media profile and publication record, this paper argues many of the researchers invited to give keynote addresses at educational leadership conferences have much larger profiles than might be expected given their scholarly track record.
Keywords: Social Media, Twitter, Impact, K-Index, Cult of the Guru, Credibility, Educational Leadership
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