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Engaging Researchers: Making an Impact with Social Media

Researcher Development Course 18th October 2013 University of Aberdeen

heather doran

on 5 February 2015

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Transcript of Engaging Researchers: Making an Impact with Social Media

Engaging Researchers: Making an Impact with Social Media
About Me
Heather Doran
Get to know
social media
Why bother?
Share and discuss research findings on a global scale
Keep connected with what others are doing
Support and career networks #ecrchat / #phdchat
Connect/follow and interact with conferences around the globe
Find out about opportunities (such as funding)
Connect with different audiences (the public/business)
Connect with journalists and policy makers
Keep up with the latest online tools
Save time…?
Study on research tweeting - https://peerj.com/preprints/16.pdf
broadcast yourself
have a conversation
Use them.. be a participant in a community
Be nice and be genuine
Find people that will be relevant to you (search, join in discussions)
Be aware of privacy settings
Don't automatically cross-post
It takes time to get going
Be wary of how much time you spend on social networks...
Set 'flexible' limits for time
Shouldn't replace, but should complement real world interactions
Good times
to tweet..

Evenings (especially if there is a TV programme being shown that is topical for your research)
When a news story breaks or paper is published that is relevant to your research
Repeat notices you want to share throughout the day to reach different time zones
When you are bored on public transport
Remember why you are spending time on these networks and tailor your posts accordingly
Not a numbers game.. it's about getting the right connections
Be careful what you are saying ...
Think about your online identity
Link up profiles and information (e.g about.me)
Do's and

Don't do/say anything on a social network that you wouldn't say to a person
Always tweet as if your supervisor and parents can see you...
Social networks are full of real people (and spambots) that you will potentially meet
Don't share research findings you are hoping to publish
Don't overshare....
Don't continuously tweet famous people
Different networks require different writing skills..
The follower number doesn't matter - are you reaching the audience you want to reach?

140 characters (less than that) Tweet #myresearch ......
Examples of good things that came to me through social media:
Being asked to blog at The Experimental Biology conference in San Diego
Finding out prezi existed
Meeting people from twitter
Getting invited to conferences
Keeping a sense of normality when I was writing my PhD thesis
Keeping in touch with people from around the globe
a blog or twitter account isn't going to get your PhD finished.. or get you promoted to professor.. but they might give you the extra edge, contacts and funding to allow you to interact with people that in the future will be an important part of your career
Twitter is such a great tool for connecting! I'm currently an intern researcher at OpenUCT at the University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. Our broad aim is to make as many of UCT's teaching and learning (and increasingly also research) resources freely available online. I also work with academics to assess and improve their online presence. Although I also use Facebook, Twitter is the social media channel I have found helpful in my research.
So, some of my examples related to research in general and Twitter:
- Found papers relevant to my topic through other's tweets
- Heard about webinars and conference streamed online that related to my research that I watched (I watched and tweeted about the Sackler Science Communication Colloquium earlier this year)
- Followed conferences I couldn't attend via their hashtags (also related to the above example, I could follow others both at the conference and watching it from all over the world)
- Been exposed to interesting and thought-provoking views on topics related to my research (especially the evolving and multifaceted open access discussions, opinions and debates)

Sarah Goodier, @SarahGoodier
I followed a conference on digital conservation in Cambridge that I wasn’t able to attend, where the organiser also helpfully posted his report post conference on twitter. Never would have got that otherwise. Also, when writing up I have posed questions to gamekeeping (now know that it is not gamekeepering!) groups on terminology to check that I am using the right terms from their perspective as well as the research side.

Gina Maffey (PhD Student Aberdeen)
- getting useful advice and examples on how to make a poster for a conference when i needed it
- connecting through email with researchers worldwide on my topic: mostly sharing my experimental data with the numerical folks
- tons of advice from other blogs, #phdchat, #acwri, #ecrchat (I'm in a research-only track so it gets lonely by times + limited guidance on the general research skills here: I got all info from blogs, books and chats)
- some fun stuff: becoming blogger for TEDxDelft, getting to review software, being interviewed for umpty reasons at my university (also got nominated as one of the highlights in civil engineering because of my pioneering in social media here)

Eva Lantsoght, PhD candidate at TU Delft @evalantsoght
Twitter has transformed my PhD in a very positive way, by giving me a community that is lacking IRL. It has also been a huge source of information about the phd process, recent publications in my field, and an opportunity to speak at an international conference. #phdchat is fabulous!

Linda Kirkman, PhD candidate in Public Health at La Trobe @lindathestar
closed networks
open networks
Getting started with twitter
Find people to follow (I recommend @thesiswhisperer for PhD related tweets)
Follow them and join in conversations
Add people you want to follow and chat with them
Learn by watching what others are doing
Helps you collate and share ideas
As a researcher you are expected to write
Practice your writing skills for different audiences
Have someone in mind you are blogging for
Can reach the public

Decide if you want to be anon or not anon
“Social media is not just for socializing. When handled correctly, you can use it to enhance your personal brand, establish your expertise, or demonstrate your digital fluency. Commit to using social media for professional reasons and be proactive about managing your activity and image. Consider what potential employers or colleagues will see - you don't want them to discover only pictures of you and your dog, or worse. Make sure at a minimum you have a LinkedIn account with a completed profile. Try tweeting or blogging about your area of expertise, thereby creating content that others can forward, retweet, or repost. This can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field.”
Harvard Business Review Management Tip, 9 March 2012, http://hbr.org/tip/2012/03/09/know-the-basics-of-putting-your-professionalself-online [accessed 16 August 2012]
Public Engagement with Research Unit
# why?
Allow people to search and follow conversations via a specific term e.g. a conference name - #solo13 (link to example)
No-one owns a hashtag and anyone can use it… including spam
# what?
TV shows #newsnight or #newsnicht
News stories e.g. #syria
Current topics e.g. #christmas
For fun.. e.g. #sciconfessions
Promotional drives eg #FreeTeaTuesday (Tetley)
Structured conversations e.g. #phdchat, #ecrchat

Tips - Don’t include too many hashtags in a tweet, use them wisely! Be careful with your acronyms …

What is
a hashtag?

How to use
a hashtag
Follow conversations
Create conversations
See others reactions to news/events/research
You can track hashtag statistics
Case Studies
Which blog platform? http://viraladnetwork.joinvan.com/blog/2013/wordpress-vs-blogger-vs-tumblr/
Pinterest for academics http://totallyrewired.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/pinterest-what-it-is-and-how-can-academics-use-it/
Twitter for academics - http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/09/29/twitter-guide/
Jon’s #1 top tip:
Don’t force it – if Twitter is fun and useful then go for it, but don’t be a martyr about it!

Heather’s #1 top tip:
Use it! In order to get the most out of twitter you need to network and be active online
Full transcript