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public administrations, and the trends and research innovations in this area in the
future. In addition, a comparative study will be performed to identify differences
in research, research gaps, and interest on the different domains of this topic into
different contexts. The ultimate objective of this chapter is to assist researchers in
the development and direction of future analysis in the implementation of social
media in public administrations into different contexts. To achieve the aims pro-
posed in this chapter, the scientometric methodology will be applied to a sample
of papers published in high-quality journals in the fields of Public Administration,
Information Sciences, and Communication.
The rest of this chapter is organized as follows. Section 5.2 presents the literature
review and sets out the research questions proposed. Then, Section 5.3 describes the
sample selection process and the analytical methodology used and then presents
the results obtained from this approach. Finally, we highlight the findings obtained
and the main conclusions drawn and identify possibilities for the development of
further analysis in the area of social media.
5.2 Background
There are multiple channels used by citizens to be in contact with governments.
Although e-government has promoted the use of digital means for citizens to
initiate contact with the government (Kanat & Ozkan, 2009), prior research has
demonstrated that where citizens have multiple choices to contact government,
they can use the channel that best suits their needs (Reddick & Turner, 2012). In
this milieu, governments need to ensure consistency of information and service
response across channels and to create a positive experience with e-government
if they want to promote digital channels of communication (Reddick & Turner,
In the last years, social media has become an alternative channel for citizens to
access their governments. The advent of social media using Web 2.0 technologies
has opened up unprecedented new possibilities of engaging the public in govern-
ment work and has changed the public's expectations about how government work
should be done (Chun, Shulman, Sandoval-Almazan, & Hovy, 2010; Lathrop &
Ruma, 2010; McDermott, 2010). Indeed, social media applications provide chan-
nels not just for mass dissemination but also for mass production and collabora-
tion (Benkler, 2006) and have become acceptable information and communication
channels in governments (Mergel, 2013; Mossberger, Wu, & Crawford, 2013),
playing an important role in implementing open government and in rendering
online public services (Noveck, 2009).
In this regard, driven by rising citizen expectations and the need for govern-
ment innovation, social media has become a central component of e-government
in a very short period (Bertot, Jaeger, & Hansen, 2012). Social media differs from
first-generation web-based resources in at least three significant ways: It is participatory,
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