Social media & research

Increasingly, social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, are being used by researchers to recruit survey participants, disseminate findings, and/or network with other researchers. While it may seem like simply a trend, these social media tools are already impacting how researchers communicate and collaborate.

We’ve collected several resources and manuals for researchers, both academic and community-based, that provide some guidance to this evolving area. As with all resources, you’ll need to approach them from the lens of your work and make your own assessment as to whether they will be useful for you.

Infographics are also a new information dissemination tool that are increasingly used to translate research findings. Click on the image to see the source.

Infographics are also a new information dissemination tool that are increasingly used to translate research findings. Click on the image to see the source. Additional infographics can be seen here.

 

GENERAL SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES

  • Demographics of Social Media Users (2012) – Ever wonder who actually uses social media? This survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project provides an overview of who is using social media, including a breakdown by social media service.
  • How to Use New Media Tools – An interactive guide to new social media tools on the American AIDS.gov website. This online resource provides excellent definitions of each, including downloadable one pagers.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA USE in RESEARCH GUIDES

 

COMMENTARIES OR BLOG POSTS

  • Going solo or joining someone else’s show: Multi-author blogs as a way to maximise your time and exposure (Feb 18, 2013) – With the practice of academic blogging becoming increasingly mainstream, it is important to emphasise the diversity of blog formats out there, from personal blogs to multi-author blogs run by institutions or around certain themes. In this post on the London School of Economic’s award winning knowledge translation blog, Alex Marsh discusses the differences and finds that the commitment of time and energy associated with an individual blog can be enough to deter some people and that a good way to ease into a new blogging routine is by making occasional contributions to a multi-author blog.
  • The terror of tweeting: social medium or academic message? (February 5, 2013) – In this article on The Guardian’s Higher Education Network blog, Claire Warwick explores how the mismatch between some academics and social media is not so much fear of technology, but concerns over losing control. She suggests sparing them the beginner’s guide because over simplified advice on how to communicate their research may simply insult them.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA USE in the HIV/AIDS SECTOR

  • OHTN Rapid Review: Social Media & HIV (2010) – A rapid review conducted by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network on the use of social media by AIDS Service Organizations, through the lens of the following question: “How has social media been used in the HIV/AIDS sector and with what impact?”