My PhD thesis looked into the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy in Ontario and how policymakers are making sense of the use of social media to strengthen public confidence in vaccines. The 3-part thesis has the following components: first, I used social network analysis (e.g., ERGM) to model and analyze the factors influencing vaccine sentiment on Twitter; second, a mixed methods content analysis and cross tabulation was carried out to analyze whether pro- and anti-vaccine users exhibit pronounced differences in behavioral attributes (e.g., health-seeking behavior, platform-specific sharing practices, emotion); third, I conducted a case study using in-depth interview with key informants in immunization policy-making coupled with document analysis to understand the barriers and opportunities to increasing public confidence in vaccines using social media in Ontario.


  1. Song, Melodie Yun-Ju, and Anatoliy Gruzd. 2017. “Examining Sentiments and Popularity of Pro- and Anti-Vaccination Videos on YouTube.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Social Media & Society, 17:1–17:8. #SMSociety17. New York, NY, USA: ACM. doi:10.1145/3097286.3097303.
  2. YJ Song, J. Abelson. Understanding Public Health Discourse about Vaccination in the New Online Public Space. Chapter 3, Citizen Engagement and Public Participation in the Era of New Media, 2016.
  3. Yun-Ju Song, “Stakeholder Analysis of the National HPV Vaccine Policy in Taiwan”, Master’s Thesis, Institute of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, July 2010. (Mandarin full text)


  1. Song YJ, Gruzd A. (December 7, 2018). Examining Sentiments and Popularity of Pro- and Anti-Vaccination Videos on YouTube. Oral presentation at the European Symposium on Societal Challenges in Social Computational Science. Cologne, Germany.
  2. Song YJ (July, 2018). A beginner’s network analysis to inform public health promotion – case studies of vaccine networks on Twitter and YouTube. Guest presentation at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation. Health Services, Systems and Policy seminar series, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  3. Song, YJ, Abelson J. (May 29, 2018). Increasing public confidence in vaccines in Ontario – barriers and opportunities from a policy perspective. Oral presentation at the 18th Canadian Public Health Association Vaccine Forum, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (May 29, 2018)
  4. Song, YJ, Abelson, J. Post-truth era reality check – Childhood vaccine-related tweets in Ontario, 2013-2016. Oral presentation at Toronto Public Health Convention (TOPHC), Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (March, 21, 2017)
  5. Song, YJ. Maps, illness, and predictive capacities of crowd-sourced information on social media and implications for health policy making: past, present, and future. Sherman Centre graduate colloquium, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. (March, 20, 2017)
  6. YJ Song, A. Gruzd. Examining sentiments and popularity of pro- and anti-vaccine videos on YouTube – a network analysis. Oral presentation at the 8th International Conference on Social Media and Society, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. July 29, 2017.
  7. YJ Song, J. Abelson. Content analysis of online vaccine conversations in Ontario. Oral presentation. Annual Health Research Methods, Evaluation and Impact Research Day. Sheraton Hotel, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, March 30th, 2017.
  8. YJ Song. Exploring Ontario’s pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine conversations on Twitter from 2014-2016. Oral presentation. Social Media Lab, Ted Rogers School of Business and Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. September 30, 2016.
  9. YJ Song, J. Abelson. Social network analysis of anti-vaccination groups and pro-vaccine groups on Twitter. Oral presentation, The Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC), April 4-6, 2016.
  10. Y-J Song and A. Sevigny. “Managing Fearbola – a public relations perspective on Canada’s travel VISA restriction in response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014.” Oral presentation, Oxford International Health Conference, Oxford, UK, June 25-27, 2015. (slides)
  11. Y-J Song and A. Sevigny. “Managing Fearbola – a public relations approach to global health policy.” Oral presentation, Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR), Montreal, Canada, May 26-29th, 2015. (slides)
  12. Y-J, Song, MG Embrett, and J. Abelson. Exploring the Gaps between Youth’s Online Health-Seeking Behavior and Policy-Makers’ Integration of Web 2.0 to Early Mental Health Detection in Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addiction Strategy”. Rapid-fire oral presentation, Medicine 2.0: Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Internet/Web 2.0 in Health, Medicine and Biomedical Research at Maui (HI), USA. November 27-28th, 2014. (accepted) 
  13. Yun-Ju Song, Y-H Chang, Chueh Chang, “Implementing HPV policy to grade-school girls in Taiwan – a stakeholder analysis”. Oral presentation at the International Conference on Gender and Health, Taipei, Taiwan, May, 2012.
  14. Yun-Ju Song, “Suggestions for strengthening social services for female immigrants in Taichung – Experience volunteering at Refugee Women’s Alliance in King County, Seattle”, Capstone project presentation for the Graduate Certificate in Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, August 2011. (Capstone project presentation, global health graduate certificate, University of Washington) (slides)
  15. Yun-Ju Song, “Identifying the essentials of a successful needle exchange program – A needs assessment of the Needle Exchange program in King County and Taipei County”, Capstone project presentation for the Graduate Certificate in HIV/STI, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA, May 2011. (poster)
  16. Yung-Ju Song, “Low usage of parental leave benefits in Taiwan: practice-policy gaps and issues unsolved”, rapid fire presentation at the 4th International Conference of Occupational Health- WOPS, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 2010. (poster) (full text)
  17. Yun-Ju Song, “International comparison on indices maternity protection policies and current conditions in Taiwan”. Branch research for Professor Yawen Cheng’s 2nd expert panel on Pilot study for constructing indicators for a long-term occupational safety and health national policy in Taiwan, under commission of the Taiwanese Institute of Occupational Health and Safety, Taipei, Taiwan, January, 2010. (Mandarin full text)


  1. Y-J Song, J. Abelson. How are public health policymakers in Ontario making sense of vaccine misinformation on social media? Poster session presented at the annual Faculty of Health Sciences Plenary, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. May 17, 2017. [best poster award]
  2. Y-J Song. The Wisdom of the Crowd – Health Myth-Busting on”. Poster presentation, Medicine 2.0: Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Internet/Web 2.0 in Health, Medicine, and Biomedical Research at Malaga, Spain, October 4-6, 2014. (accepted)
  3. Y-J, Song, and J. Abelson. Policy entrepreneurship – is there room for public health professionals to speak up against anti-vaccination movements in cyberspace?” Poster presentation, Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR), Toronto, Canada, May 12-15th, 2014. (poster)
  4. Y-J, Song, and J. Abelson. Policy entrepreneurship – is there room for public health professionals to speak up against anti-vaccination movements in cyberspace?” Poster presentation, New Frontiers in Health Policy – Center for Health Economics and Policy Analysis 25th Anniversary Conference, Hamilton, Canada. March 26th, 2014.
  5. Yun-Ju Song, ‘Smoking does not define me, I define smoking – a phenomenological exploration of young urban female smokers’ smoking identity and perception towards the indoors smoking ban legislation in Taiwan”, Poster presentation at the APHA 138th Annual Meeting and Exposition, Denver, CO, USA, November 2010. (slides) (Mandarin full text)
  6. Yun-Ju Song, “Knowledge, attitude and beliefs in cervical cancer prevention and HPV vaccination among college youths in Taiwan – a gender-based approach”.  Poster presentation at the 26th International Papillomavirus Conference & Clinical and Public Health Workshops, Montreal, Canada, July 2010. (abstract)

Selected writings (for records-keeping):

  1. Yun-Ju Song, and Alex Sevigny (instructor), “Managing Fearbola. How and why did Canada issue temporary travel VISA bans to travelers from Ebola stricken countries? An exploratory case study of the theoretical lenses of political public relations employed by three public relations professionals”, Organizational public relations course final essay, McMaster University, 2014. (full text)
  2. Yun-Ju Song, and K. Boothe (instructor), “Comparative politics of HPV vaccination policies in Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea”. Comparative health policies course final essay, McMaster University, 2014. (full text)
  3. Yun-Ju Song and J. Abelson (instructor), ” Policy entrepreneurs and the use of social media in promoting anti-vaccination movement agendas”, Health Policy Analysis final essay, McMaster University, 2013. (full text)
  4. Yun-Ju Song, “Managing Health Delivery Programs – A case study of vertical and horizontal program delivery decisions in Mozambique”. Comparative Public Policies course final essay, McMaster University, 2013. (full text)
  5. Yun-Ju Song, “Some for all or all for some – when needs meets values”. Introduction of Economics final essay, McMaster University, 2013. (full text)
  6. Yun-Ju Song, “The sustainability of GAVI’s HPV vaccine donation program in developing countries”Problems in Global Health Critical Analysis Paper, UW. 2010. (full text)
  7. Yun-Ju Song. “Doing public health services in Africa as a trade-off for mandatory military service in Taiwan – doing more harm than good” Problems in Global Health Position Paper, UW. 2011. (full text)
  8. Yun-Ju Song. “Knowledge, attitude and practice in cervical cancer prevention and HPV vaccination among college youths in Taiwan proposal – a gender-based approach” HIV Research Methods Course, UW. 2011. (text)
  9. Yun-Ju Song. “Lifetime cigarette smoke and second-hand smoke and cervical intraepithelial neoplasm – A community-based case-control study” Epidemiology Course Critique Paper, University of Washington. 2011. (full text)
  10. Yun-Ju Song. “Promoting a gender-based framework for an integrated STI prevention strategy in Taiwan” Policy Development and Advocacy Final Paper, UW. 2011. (full text)
  11. Yun-Ju Song, Yu-Ting Lin, Nai-Fang Shi, Chien-Yuen Chang. “Life Stressors of Master and Doctoral Students in the School of Public Health at the National Taiwan University” Public Health Quantitative Research Methods Course Presentation, National Taiwan University. 2009. (Abstract) (Mandarin full text)
  12. Yun-Ju Song. “How much QALY could Taiwanese women gain from a national HPV vaccine policy” Quality of Life Research Methods research proposal, National Taiwan University. 2009. (full text)
  13. Yun-Ju Song. “A nursing student’s research proposal to utilize epidemiology for optimizing in-patient DM patient outcomes in National Taiwan University” Methods of Epidemiologic Research course proposal, National Taiwan University. 2008. (text)
  14. Yun-Ju Song. “The phenomena of delayed marriages, cohabitation, and child-birth oout of wedlock in Taiwan” Population Studies mini-thesis, National Taiwan University. 2009. (full text in Mandarin)
  15. Yun-Ju Song. “Needs assessment for retired and empty-nested spouses in their 50’s” Public Health Psychology finals research essay, National Taiwan University. 2010. (full text)
  16. Yun-Ju Song. “Sleep apnea syndrome in a young cosmopolite urban adult population risk factors for disease severity” Epidemiology Course Critique, University of Washington. 2010. (methods critique paper)
  17. Yun-Ju Song. “How can we make HPV vaccine policy viable in Taiwan – a health psychology perspective” Health Psychology Final presentation, National Taiwan University. 2010. (slides)
  18. Yun-Ju Song, Yu-Ying Chen, Yi-Chen Hsiao, Chien-Yuan Chang, Yu-Ting Lin, Nai-Fang Shi. “Ethics in Public Health – a case study on the HPV vaccine policy implementation” Ethics in Public Health Final Group Presentation, National Taiwan University. 2009. (slides)
  19. Yun-Ju Song, “Does disclosure matter? A correlation study of family caregiver burden and disclosure/non-disclosure of terminal cancer to patients”, presented at the Department of Nursing, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, April, 2008. Research sponsored by the National Council of Science (NCS).

Translated publications:

  1. World Health Organization (WHO). (2014).Health Literacy. The Solid Facts, Chinese version. (Mandarin full text)
  2. IASC Guidelines On Mental Health and Psychosocial Support In Emergency Settings Checklist for Field Use (Mandarin full text)
  3. Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Program Committee Report, 2007. (Mandarin full text)
  4. 2012 Bureau of Health Promotion Annual Report, Taiwan Bureau of Health. Expected to publish in January 2013 (Excerpt in Mandarin)