Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between researchers’ social media (SM) behavior and their academic performance. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 362 researchers was recruited from the colleges of management of 52 Chinese universities. A factor analysis of eight indices retrieved from the 362 data items was conducted. A total of 24 Chinese researchers were interviewed and given a robust test. Findings: The results indicate that Chinese general social media (GSM) is insufficient to support academic research and it is difficult for scholars to enhance the visibility of their academic performance using GSM platforms, which can actually induce addiction. University resources, management systems, and working environment affect how scholars apply SM. Research limitations/implications: The authors examined the researchers’ SM behavior by giving them a questionnaire and interview; however, this approach proved inadequate. The academic performance of researchers is affected by numerous factors, but the authors only considered SM behavior. Practical implications: It is suggested that universities apply academic social media (ASM) indicators to measure researchers’ contributions so that they self-regulate their SM usage attitudes. Also, universities should also promote ASM platforms. Originality/value: This study analyzed scholars’ GSM usage and academic performance, and the moderating effect of university level on the relationship between need for competence and relatedness and need for autonomy. This comprehensive analysis contributes to the scholarly SM usage literature.
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