JMIR Infodemiology

Focusing on determinants and distribution of health information and misinformation on the internet, and its effect on public and individual health.

Editor-in-Chief:

Tim Ken Mackey, MAS, PhD, Professor, University of California San Diego; Director, Healthcare Research & Policy, University of California San Diego - Extension; Director, Global Health Policy and Data Institute


JMIR Infodemiology (JI, ISSN 2564-1891, Editor-in-Chief: Tim Ken Mackey) launched in 2021 (recently passed Scientific Evaluation for PubMed Central/PubMed) is a Scopus, DOAJ, CABI-indexed, peer reviewed journal, focusing on determinants and the distribution of health information and misinformation on the internet, and its effect on public and individual health. The new scientific discipline of "Infodemiology," first introduced in 2002, has been gaining momentum due to the COVID-19 infodemic, with the WHO recognizing it as an important pillar to manage public health emergencies. JMIR Publications is proud to have been spearheading the advancement of this new scientific discipline for more than a decade. We are now accelerating the development of this new interdisciplinary discipline with the first and only journal devoted to this rapidly evolving field, by bringing together thought leaders in research and policy. Areas of interest include information monitoring (infoveillance, including social listening); ehealth literacy and science literacy; knowledge refinement and quality improvement processes and policies; and the influence of political and commercial interests on effective knowledge translation. 

Recent Articles

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Health and Risk Communication

During the COVID-19 pandemic, tribal and health organizations used social media to rapidly disseminate public health guidance highlighting protective behaviors such as masking and vaccination to mitigate the pandemic’s disproportionate burden on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

Long COVID—a condition with persistent symptoms post COVID-19 infection—is the first illness arising from social media. In France, the French hashtag #ApresJ20 described symptoms persisting longer than 20 days after contracting COVID-19. Faced with a lack of recognition from medical and official entities, patients formed communities on social media and described their symptoms as long-lasting, fluctuating, and multisystemic. While many studies on long COVID relied on traditional research methods with lengthy processes, social media offers a foundation for large-scale studies with a fast-flowing outburst of data.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

Dementia misconceptions on Twitter can have detrimental or harmful effects. Machine learning (ML) models codeveloped with carers provide a method to identify these and help in evaluating awareness campaigns.

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Assessing and Building eHealth / Digital Literacy in Populations

COVID-19–related health inequalities were reported in some studies, showing the failure in public health and communication. Studies investigating the contexts and causes of these inequalities pointed to the contribution of communication inequality or poor health literacy and information access to engagement with health care services. However, no study exclusively dealt with health inequalities induced by the use of social media during COVID-19.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

Amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, a worldwide infodemic also emerged with large amounts of COVID-19–related information and misinformation spreading through social media channels. Various organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other prominent individuals issued high-profile advice on preventing the further spread of COVID-19.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for reliable information, especially around vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy is a growing concern and a great threat to broader public health. The prevalence of social media within our daily lives emphasizes the importance of accurately analyzing how health information is being disseminated to the public. TikTok is of particular interest, as it is an emerging social media platform that young adults may be increasingly using to access health information.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

The year 2021 was marked by vaccinations against COVID-19, which spurred wider discussion among the general population, with some in favor and some against vaccination. Twitter, a popular social media platform, was instrumental in providing information about the COVID-19 vaccine and has been effective in observing public reactions. We focused on tweets from Japan and Indonesia, 2 countries with a large Twitter-using population, where concerns about side effects were consistently stated as a strong reason for vaccine hesitancy.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, the disease has had an unprecedented impact worldwide. Social media such as Reddit can serve as a resource for enhancing situational awareness, particularly regarding monitoring public attitudes and behavior during the crisis. Insights gained can then be utilized to better understand public attitudes and behaviors during the COVID-19 crisis, and to support communication and health-promotion messaging.

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Infodemic Management

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are being exposed to large amounts of information each day. This “infodemic” is defined by the World Health Organization as the mass spread of misleading or false information during a pandemic. This spread of misinformation during the infodemic ultimately leads to misunderstandings of public health orders or direct opposition against public policies. Although there have been efforts to combat misinformation spread, current manual fact-checking methods are insufficient to combat the infodemic.

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Vaccination Sentiment and Anti-Vaccination Infodemiology

Achieving herd immunity through vaccination depends upon the public’s acceptance, which in turn relies on their understanding of its risks and benefits. The fundamental objective of public health messaging on vaccines is therefore the clear communication of often complex information and, increasingly, the countering of misinformation. The primary outlet shaping public understanding is mainstream online news media, where coverage of COVID-19 vaccines was widespread.

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Infodemic Management

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated an infodemic, an overabundance of online and offline information. In this context, accurate information as well as misinformation and disinformation about the links between nutrition and COVID-19 have circulated on Twitter since the onset of the pandemic.

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Infoveillance and Social Listening

With direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing enabling self-responsible access to novel information on ancestry, traits, or health, consumers often turn to social media for assistance and discussion. YouTube, the largest social media platform for videos, offers an abundance of DTC genetic testing–related videos. Nevertheless, user discourse in the comments sections of these videos is largely unexplored.

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Preprints Open for Peer-Review

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