ICI-FSS MYRG Study of Computational Social Sciences and Humanities Attracts Media Attention

A study by a team of researchers affiliated with the Institute of Collaborative Innovation (ICI) and Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), funded by UM’s Collaborative MYRG project titled Computational Social Sciences and Humanities, attracted extensive attention from a dozen media organizations. The study was reported in a paper titled “Best title lengths of online postings for highest read and relay” and published as the lead article in Journalism and Communication Review (Volume 75, No. 3, 2022), a CSSCI journal. The study analyzed data from over 58,000 postings on TouTiao.com, a Chinese mega platform of information aggregation. Two inverted-U effects were found. Postings with 27-28 Hanzi characters per title predicted the largest number of clicks to read while 18-19 Hanzi predicted the highest relay.

The Paper (thepaper.cn), a leading online newspaper in Chinese, and “Yangtze Media Research,” a respected research site, each published a detailed story and extensive commentary on the study, which were reposted and highlighted by over a dozen popular platforms, including the influential or authoritative Tencent (news.qq.com), Sina (news.sina.com.cn), Sohu (news.sohu.com), ifeng.com, eastday.com, and ICPPCC.cn.

The research is a part of UM’s first externally reviewed Collaborative MYRG project, which attracted researchers and students from the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FAH), the Faculty of Business Administration (FBA), and the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST). The authors of the article include Department of Communication M.A. students Francis Jizhou Ye (first author intern), Shuxin Sun, Yingtong Zheng, and Ryan Zhang; Ph.D. student Erica Qian Xiao; Postdoctoral Fellow Harris Song Ao; Associate Professor Charles Guangchao Feng; Assistant Professor Lisa Xiaoqin Li and ICI fellow and Department of Communication Chair Professor Xinshu Zhao (PI). (DOI:10.14086/j.cnki.xwycbpl.2022.03.001;