Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.707
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.151

CiteScore 2018: 0.86

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.460
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.580

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 41, Issue 3


Who’s right: The author or the audience? Effects of user comments and ratings on the perception of online science articles

Stephan Winter
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Social Psychology: Media and Communication, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Nicole C. Krämer
Published Online: 2016-09-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0008


When laypersons are interested in science-related questions, they frequently visit participatory websites such as science blogs. Typically, articles on these sites are accompanied by user comments or ratings. The present research investigated the effects of different forms of user feedback on readers’ interpretation of science topics. In two experiments (N = 178), participants read a one-sided blog article about the dangers of violent video games. The visible user reactions contradicted the slant of the article and were systematically varied (argumentative comments vs. subjective comments vs. ratings vs. none). Results of Study 1 showed that parents (for whom the topic is relevant) made use of comments and ratings to infer the opinion climate, while there were only limited effects on readers’ attitudes. Less involved readers (student participants in Study 2), in contrast, were susceptible to the persuasive influence of user comments. Implications regarding the role of user reactions in online science communication are discussed.

Keywords: science communication; user-generated content; blogs; attitudes; comments; argument quality

About the article

Published Online: 2016-09-02

Published in Print: 2016-09-01

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 41, Issue 3, Pages 339–360, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0008.

Export Citation

©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Lukas Gierth and Rainer Bromme
Public Understanding of Science, 2019, Page 096366251988927
Stephan Lewandowsky, John Cook, Nicolas Fay, and Gilles E. Gignac
Memory & Cognition, 2019
Marc Ziegele, Christina Koehler, and Mathias Weber
Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 2018, Volume 62, Number 4, Page 636
Dominique Heinbach, Marc Ziegele, and Oliver Quiring
New Media & Society, 2018, Page 146144481878447
Emily K. Vraga and Leticia Bode
Science Communication, 2017, Page 107554701773177

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in