A Researcher’s Guide to Social Media

Photo by Ladyheart at Morguefile.com

How can I use twitter to develop my career?

How much should I share with people? 

What other sites are researchers using?

How do I develop a social media strategy for my group?

Social media has become part of (most of) our lives, but if our use has developed principally for personal and social use it can be challenging to work out how to reap career benefits. Today I ran a workshop for researchers in our College of Medicine and Vetinary Medicine to help them develop their online profiles and work out which social media options were best for them. I tried to answer the questions above (and others) and also promised to post a blog with the slides and useful links. (This is it.)

I know that the University of Bristol is about to launch a researcher’s guide to social media which I’ll link to from here once it is available. This will cover the themes of my workshop in more depth and includes a series of worksheets to help their researchers develop effective approaches online. Watch this space…

The workshop was also an opportunity to bring together researchers in the College and build some connections and awareness about IAD and the new focus on research staff and their support in the College. A new twitter feed EdMedECR is part of the communication strategy and hopefully is getting new followers as a result of the workshop.

It’s important to note that this was a general introductory session from a user of social media with an expertise in researcher development. I’d strongly recommend that anyone wanting to develop a stronger digital presence engages with the real experts in the Univesrity either by signing up for the brilliant Digital Footprint MOOC or by working through the list on 23 Things . I’m currently doing both and am learning a LOT. You can learn a little more about the MOOC by reading about the topics covered in the first few weeks – Behind the scenes at the Digital Footprint MOOC –  from Nicola Osborne of EDINA, and you can read the paper that I mentioned on the Uncontainable Self (the version of you that exists online because of the way you are mentioned by others.)

The SLIDES: MVM Soc Med online

The links and additional content:

Those fun guys in pathology know a thing or two about twitter#autopsy

Verifying social media content: John Hopkins University Library

How to get started on twitter – an introduction from a very basic level (will get your started but is a little dated)

An overview of the potential value of Twitter for academics  – another introduction, broken down into five themes.

How academics use twitter – links to the lighter side of academic twitter

Paul Coxen, University of Cambridge explains why twitter has particular value for early career researchers 

What are the funding models for key academic sites? – an article from Times Higher on the underlying business models for a few familiar platforms.

A review of ResearchGate by a researcher at Exeter University

Facebook for Researchers – from a researcher at Warwick University

Broadening your network and visibilty on LinkedIn – from Impact Story

What do others see when they look for you online? Search for yourself without filters at https://duckduckgo.com

Blogs about university and higher education issues can help you develop a more strategic view of research. One example is Professor Dame Athene Donald, Chair of the new REF interdisc panel: http://occamstypewriter.org/athenedonald/

Many academics have blogged about the approaches they’ve taken to build the impact of their research on the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog (not just for social scientists) which has built into a fantastic resource on strategies for engaging people with your work.

I also mentioned The Conversation which is an online newspaper/magazine written by researchers. Lots of UoE posts but room for more…

Finally, we mentioned Piirus, the collaboration hub owned by jobs.ac.uk. The blog they publish has many articles about academic life and advice for early career researchers.

If you attended the session and have any new questions, just post them in the comments below and I’ll add in any additional answers. If you want more details of other resources I mentioned, just drop me an email and I’ll send these out.

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