This guide provides guidance and examples for authors on using social media effectively to share their research output? Have any tips? Let us know!
For issues around Research Ethics and Research Integrity and the use of Social Media for research, please see the Policy & Governance team in Research & Innovation Services.
Reasons many academics use Academic Social Networks (or Scholarly Collaboration Networks (SCNs)) include:
ResearchGate was founded in 2008, and now boasts over 17 million members worldwide. It is free to join, and free to leave, and allows you to create and build on online profile, visible to other academic and commercial researchers, to share knowledge, expertise and scientific outputs. You can see who's been reading and citing your work within ResearchGate, engage in discussions by asking and answering questions, and explore and apply for research jobs advertised within the site.
A platform to allow researchers to share their research outputs with other academics, with a company mission to "accelerate the world's research," Academia.edu has over 95 million members worldwide, and provides access to over 23 million research papers.
LinkedIN is an online professional network with over 400 million members worldwide. Whilst ResearchGate and Academia have a strong focus (and membership base) amongst the academic and wider research community, LinkedIN can help you raise your online profile and visibility around your research expertise and output to commercial, public sector and third sector employers, collaborators and potential beneficiaries.
Kudos is a free to use platform for academic authors. It claims to be "the only platform dedicated to dissemination across the multiple networks and channels available to researchers for sharing information about their work," and works with publishers, universities, research funders, metrics providers and commercial and not-for-profit organisations to help researchers build and track impact for their work.
Kudos provides a simple toolkit to support authors in communicating their research to a broad audience, using plain language and recommending appropriate communication channels.
The below articles and publisher surveys on usage of social networks by academic users may be of interest:
Springer/Nature Social Media Survey 2017: Data available under CC-BY 4.0 licence https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5028212.v1
The following guidance is aimed at new users of Twitter, or existing users of Twitter wishing to review how they use it as a tool for communicating their research. Have your own tips.. let us know! We will cover:
If you are sharing your publication via social media:
But remember! Not everyone will have subscription access to your published output via the DOI if it isn't open access!
It can be tricky to fit both links and some enticing text into a single tweet, but it can be done! Example in the image below:
Liberal & Conservative tribalism = human nature; How to disincentivise political tribalism, promote civil political discourse & reach compromise = crucial. Article from @ImHardcory, @EPoe187, @BizarroPolitix at https://t.co/uc90Qwn6ry (cant access? #oa at https://t.co/ilkmoOro4O)— DurhamResearchOnline (@DROdurham) August 27, 2019
'Hashtags' help link posts which are related by theme, conversation or event. You can use them to:
I used Twitter to find scholars in research fields like mine or simply interested in discussing research on social media #PhDChat— Raul (@hummingbird604) June 22, 2011
Think about the content of your tweet - and trying to catch people's eye on a platform which values brevity.
But some things to remember:
#DROPickoftheweek: 'Mother–Child Attachment From Infancy to the Preschool Years: Predicting Security and Stability' co-authored by @cfernyhough (@DurhamPsych) https://t.co/zWtUkVB3RZ (https://t.co/yvZ2mPRjmQ) P.s. not about polar bears... pic.twitter.com/0fSnk915D3— DurhamResearchOnline (@DROdurham) August 21, 2020
Do think about timing in how you share information and engage with others on Twitter.
Your Twitter handle (your username on twitter - it is publically visible) and your short Bio are key tools to enable a potential follower to assess whether your content will be of interest to them.
Here are some quick tips and example handles/bios:
There are tools available to help you manage your Twitter interactions more efficiently. This can be helpful where:
Services we use include:
You don't need a Twitter account to see what is happening in the 'twittersphere' - you can search twitter using their search interface here. This can be useful if you don't want an account with twitter, but want to see what people are saying on Twitter at a conference you are attending (or can't attend!) - and you know the #hashtag being used by the conference.
|Will find tweets...
|... containing both the term "care" and the term "duty".
|"duty of care"
|... containing the exact phrase "duty of care".
|care OR duty
|... containing either the term "care" OR the term "duty", or both terms.
|... containing the term "duty" and not the term "care".
|... containing the hashtag #phdchat
|... sent by the user @DROdurham
|... sent as a reply to the user @DROdurham
|... mentioning by the user @DROdurham
|... containing the term "politics" , with tweets marked as potentially sensitive removed.
|... containing the term "academia" AND including an image or a video.
|... containing the term "academia" AND excluding 'retweets'
|... containing the term "students" AND includes a linking URL
|... containing the term "brexit" and sent before the date 2016-06-23
|... containing the term "corona" and sent since the date 2020-01-01
|... containing the term "bonespurs" AND asking a question
Remember, you can also use apps available via IFTTT to then automate searches and exporting tweets if this is of interest.
The Marketing and Communications Office have developed a toolkit to encourage and empower staff to participate in profile raising activities.
The Toolkit highlights a few of the many platforms available, and identifies considerations when deciding which platform would be most appropriate. It also provides tips on getting the most from Twitter, Facebook and starting to blog about your research.