David Nicholas, Ian Rowlands and Deanna Wamae
Thursday 4 November 2010
XXX Annual Charleston Conference
Charleston Observa...
2
David Nicholas
CIBER University College London
2
About the Charleston Observatory
Engaging the library and publishing communities
The Observatory, established in 2009, is ...
Aims of this study
Understanding social media and research workflow
Aims
Are social media impacting upon researcher
workflow...
About the survey
A global survey of facts and opinions
Research partner and sponsor
Emerald
List contributors
Cambridge Un...
6
Ian Rowlands
CIBER University College London
6
Most popular social media in research
A big gap between awareness and use
How to read this graphic
This chart shows the pe...
Most popular social media in research
Generic services rule
Key findings
Researchers tended to mention well known free
gene...
The research life cycle
Where do social media fit?
My way of doing
research has changed
enormously since the advent of Web
...
The research life cycle
Social networking ticks lots of boxes
Key findings
Social networking clearly offers a lot more
than...
The research life cycle
Social media find broad application in the research life cycle
How to read this graphic
This is bas...
Perceived social media benefits
Does visibility drive esteem?
Key findings
The main perceived benefits (ease of
communication...
Social media drivers
A curiosity-driven phenomenon
Key findings
Take up of social media seems to be mainly
driven by curios...
Social media enthusiasts
Differences by age group
Key findings
There are real differences between the age
groups with regar...
What users want from publishers
Sort out data formats
Key findings
Researchers want the basics put in order, starting
with ...
What users want from libraries
Make the library more like Google
Key findings
Researchers are very keen on the idea that
li...
What users want from libraries
Make the library more like Google
Index full text library holdings
56.4%
Socially tag libra...
18
Deanna Wamae
Emerald Inc., Boston MA
18
Let’s keep things in perspective
Key findings
People haven’t migrated to mobile devices for
research work in great numbers....
Traditional formats are still strongly preferred
Key findings
Faculty continue to back dissemination
routes that they know ...
The change zone
Greater use of
multimedia
11.2%
21
Collaborative authoring
Conferencing
Scheduling
Social networking
Image...
Emerging technology preferences
Key findings
The overwhelming preference is for
mainstream anchor technologies – libraries
...
Emerging research preferences
Observations
There are real benefits where social media
support the research process. The cor...
Some early conclusions
Most researchers currently use at least one social media tool in their research
Web 2.0 use is main...
Core themes
Proven dissemination approaches are still
working well, but ...
Opportunities: social media may present
some o...
Some early conclusions
Most researchers currently use at least one social media tool in their research
Web 2.0 use is main...
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Charleston Conference Observatory: Are Social Media Impacting on Research?

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Charleston Conference Observatory: Are Social Media Impacting on Research?

  1. 1. David Nicholas, Ian Rowlands and Deanna Wamae Thursday 4 November 2010 XXX Annual Charleston Conference Charleston Observatory 2010 Are social media impacting on research? 1
  2. 2. 2 David Nicholas CIBER University College London 2
  3. 3. About the Charleston Observatory Engaging the library and publishing communities The Observatory, established in 2009, is a mechanism by which the exciting ideas raised at the Charleston Conference can be researched and the results reported back to provide continuity and build. It is a place where evidence can be collected globally in a robust manner and where all the key information stakeholders (librarians, publishers, agents and academics) can come together and share data for the benefit of all. The Observatory's first project, sponsored by ebrary and Baker & Taylor and undertaken by CIBER, was the impact of the world-wide recession on libraries. The research received widespread acclaim and was in published in a number of international journals and cited in The Scientist. The topic this year, social media and how they are impacting research practice is just as big. 3 3
  4. 4. Aims of this study Understanding social media and research workflow Aims Are social media impacting upon researcher workflows? If so, how should publishers and librarians respond? How influential are age and other factors in shaping the demand for social media? Research design Online survey Focus group interviews (next stage) 4 4
  5. 5. About the survey A global survey of facts and opinions Research partner and sponsor Emerald List contributors Cambridge University Press Charleston Conference Taylor & Francis University College London Wolters Kluwer Key facts 4,012 people in 215 countries in arts and humanities, business, and the natural, physical and social sciences responded. This is probably the biggest survey of social media researcher behaviour yet undertaken. 5 5
  6. 6. 6 Ian Rowlands CIBER University College London 6
  7. 7. Most popular social media in research A big gap between awareness and use How to read this graphic This chart shows the percentage of researchers within each software category and their use and awareness of various tools. Key findings There is a big gap between awareness (orange) and actual use (green) in all eight categories. With one exception - collaborative authoring - social media have not yet made big inroads into researcher workflows. Collaborative authoring Conferencing Scheduling Social networking Image sharing Blogging Microblogging Social tagging 55.6 24.6 29.6 9.8 11.9 25.2 8.7 8.7 36.8 67.8 57.4 71.7 65.0 41.8 53.7 40.6 7.6 7.6 12.9 18.6 23.1 33.0 37.6 50.8 Yes, I have used in my research No, but I am aware of these tools No, I don’t know anything about these tools People like me need to be persuaded of the added benefits of Web 2.0 before we are prepared to invest in learning these skills. I definitely see their potential but they aren’t necessarily essential … 7 7
  8. 8. Most popular social media in research Generic services rule Key findings Researchers tended to mention well known free generic products (like Skype, Google Docs and YouTube) rather than bespoke tools developed specifically for the academic market, like Mendeley or CiteULike. A triumph of marketing over content? A gap in the market for simple to use bespoke tools? How to read this graphic Respondents were asked which tools they used most often in their research. The font sizes opposite are scaled to the number of mentions for the top 24 products. The main problem is that there are just so many different options all developing so fast that it is simply bewildering and not worth the effort of setting up anything unless it is secure, permanent and broadly accepted. We don’t need monolithic branded platforms,we need small simple tools that are in open format. 8 8
  9. 9. The research life cycle Where do social media fit? My way of doing research has changed enormously since the advent of Web 2.0. I cannot imagine doing research or teaching without it. The challenge for us all is to find the best Web 2.0 tools to use, and to remember that they are there! We need to make sure that academic research does not gather dust in old books at a library, but rather seamlessly blend with the people who make it, the people who will benefit from it, and the people who will read it I think people are too afraid somebody will steal their ideas and they’re too stressed about starting to use this available technology. There seems to be a presumption that because you can, you must ... The flood of technology and the often lack of support, force scholars to be their own tech support or be left behind 9 9
  10. 10. The research life cycle Social networking ticks lots of boxes Key findings Social networking clearly offers a lot more than just another channel for disseminating research findings. Researchers find these tools useful across the research life cycle, with the exception of analysing research data. How to read this graphic This table shows the most popular (modal) responses to a series of questions about how useful researchers find social networking at different points in the research life cycle. Social networking and the research life cycle modal values Identify research opportunities Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Find collaborators Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Secure support Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Reviewing the literature Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Collecting research data Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Analysing research data Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Disseminating research findings Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful Manage the research process Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful 10 10
  11. 11. The research life cycle Social media find broad application in the research life cycle How to read this graphic This is basically a Word table with colours representing how useful researchers find the tools (the columns) at each stage of the research life cycle (the rows). Green is very useful, amber and red less so. Key findings This composite picture shows that social media find broad application across the research life cycle (lots of green and amber) and generally in ways that we would expect, like e-conferencing being used to support research collaboration and management. Looking across the rows, there appears to be a real need for simple tools to support the analysis of research data and perhaps easier ways to identify grants.Not at all useful Somewhat useful Very useful Extremely useful11 11
  12. 12. Perceived social media benefits Does visibility drive esteem? Key findings The main perceived benefits (ease of communication across national borders, quickly and to a wider audience) are no surprise. There is little consensus around whether social media help to deliver greater esteem or more citations as a result of higher digital visibility. How to read this graphic The numbers opposite are average agreement ratings on a scale where 1=Strongly disagree and 5=Strongly agree. Communicate internationally Faster dissemination Connect with people outside the academy Ability to target research communities Greater access to research content Ability to cross disciplinary divides Attract more citations Greater esteem through higher visibility 3.54 3.57 3.84 3.92 3.95 4.05 4.07 4.23 I doubt that Darwin’s thoughts would have been greatly improved by twittering I have very little trust in things published on the web from open sources unless I know the person. There are too many hidden agendas. 12 12
  13. 13. Social media drivers A curiosity-driven phenomenon Key findings Take up of social media seems to be mainly driven by curiosity. Management initiatives feature much less highly. It’s a jungle out there! How to read this graphic The numbers opposite are average ratings on a scale where 0=Not at all influential and 4=Extremely influential. Personal initiative Technology Need for speed Peers outside my institution Colleagues at my institution Students Management 2.45 2.63 2.68 2.81 2.93 2.99 3.25 I’ve used dozens of tools over the years and there are very few `keepers’ … I wouldn’t hesitate to experiment with something new if circumstances called for it. I use them because I’m stuck using a computer for much of my work and it’s sometimes nice to take a break. 13 13
  14. 14. Social media enthusiasts Differences by age group Key findings There are real differences between the age groups with regard to their use of social media, but the picture is complex. This does not surprise CIBER, we have been saying for years that age-related differences in information behaviour are not simply explained by age. The future is now! How to read this graphic The numbers opposite are the percentages within each age band that use selected social media in their research. 14 25 and under 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65 and over 2.4 7.3 8.0 10.9 10.5 6.1 12.0 13.6 14.1 15.9 14.4 18.2 15.7 24.2 32.2 26.3 27.6 19.7 social networking blogging microblogging 14
  15. 15. What users want from publishers Sort out data formats Key findings Researchers want the basics put in order, starting with the ability to read any content on any platform. They also want to dig deeper than the article by accessing the source data. There is little enthusiasm for `bells and whistles’ like multilingual capability or RSS feeds. How to read this graphic The pie chart shows how researchers voted when asked to single out one of the recommendations opposite as their highest priority for publisher action. Multilingual capabilities 6.3% Content readable on all platforms 42.8% RSS as standard 6.4% Greater use of multimedia 11.2% Links to the data behind the published article 33.4% I would prefer not to see publishers offer their own [tools], because this causes lock-in to a particular platform and raises copyright issues. … anything that publishers and database providers can do to raise the profile of published articles is much appreciated. 15 15
  16. 16. What users want from libraries Make the library more like Google Key findings Researchers are very keen on the idea that libraries should provide deep indexing of the full text of their licensed content. There is relatively little user interest in the library preserving and curating social media content. About this graphic As in the previous slide, this pie chart shows the percentage breakdown of respondents who chose that recommendation as their single highest priority. Index full text library holdings 56.4% Socially tag library catalogue 11.7% Catalogue Web 2.0 content 9.8% Preserve Web 2.0 content 7.9% Add a social network interface to the library catalogue 14.2% I find myself wondering about how long these various systems will be around and if I will loose the data I have developed in them. … all of the supposed valued added features tend to be more troublesome and distracting than helpful. The tail is starting to wag the dog. 16 16
  17. 17. What users want from libraries Make the library more like Google Index full text library holdings 56.4% Socially tag library catalogue 11.7% Add a social network interface to the library catalogue 14.2% 17 17
  18. 18. 18 Deanna Wamae Emerald Inc., Boston MA 18
  19. 19. Let’s keep things in perspective Key findings People haven’t migrated to mobile devices for research work in great numbers. Access is still predominantly through static devices like laptops or as publisher hard copy. How to read this graphic Each bar adds up to 100 per cent and shows the relative frequency with which researchers access scholarly content from different devices. Desktop or laptop Publisher hard copy Netbook Smartphone or mobile device iPad 19 All of the time Most of the time Sometimes Rarely Never 19
  20. 20. Traditional formats are still strongly preferred Key findings Faculty continue to back dissemination routes that they know and trust. Personal dissemination activities are growing. How to read this graphic These are summary answers to the question ‘How important are the following methods for disseminating or publicising your research?’ where 1=Not at all important and 4=Extremely important Academic journals Conference proceedings Edited books Wikis or blogs Social networking Microblogging 1.9 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 3.8 20 20
  21. 21. The change zone Greater use of multimedia 11.2% 21 Collaborative authoring Conferencing Scheduling Social networking Image sharing Blogging Microblogging Social tagging 55.6 24.6 29.6 9.8 11.9 25.2 8.7 8.7 7.6 7.6 12.9 18.6 23.1 33.0 37.6 50.8 Yes, I have used in my research No, but I am aware of these tools No, I don’t know anything about these tools Key questions The green are the early adopters – where are the yellow zone going? That is the question for both librarians and publishers. Which areas will grow fastest? Is blogging and social tagging always going to be a minority activity? What will be the preference for social media tools? Mainstream or specialist? Utility will determine adoption. The researcher of the future? 21
  22. 22. Emerging technology preferences Key findings The overwhelming preference is for mainstream anchor technologies – libraries and publishers need adapt to the winning technologies. There will be challenges in linking to content and for relevant industry standards. Greater use of multimedia 11.2% 22 22
  23. 23. Emerging research preferences Observations There are real benefits where social media support the research process. The core of the research process is not well supported by social media. There are opportunities for the development of research workflow tools. We see publication moving from journal issues to article release. Greater use of multimedia 11.2% 23 How to read this graphic This graphic identifies the pulse points as far as social media are concerned. These are the three areas where our respondents found social media to be very or extremely useful overall. 23
  24. 24. Some early conclusions Most researchers currently use at least one social media tool in their research Web 2.0 use is mainly curiosity-driven than actively managed or supported Lack of time and distrust of crowd-sourced information are big barriers to use There is a large gap between awareness and actual use For a large minority, however, social media are useful at all stages of the research life cycle The age profile of social media use is complex and there is no clear `digital native’ effect Researchers want publishers to focus on the basics, not more `bells and whistles’ Researchers would love to be able to search across licensed library full text content using a simple search engine, like Google. 24 24
  25. 25. Core themes Proven dissemination approaches are still working well, but ... Opportunities: social media may present some opportunities for better, faster research and dissemination. Challenges: librarians and publishers need to engage and support users within and around the technologies that they value. 25
  26. 26. Some early conclusions Most researchers currently use at least one social media tool in their research Web 2.0 use is mainly curiosity-driven than actively managed or supported Lack of time and distrust of crowd-sourced information are big barriers to use There is a large gap between awareness and actual use For a large minority, however, social media are useful at all stages of the research life cycle The age profile of social media use is complex and there is no clear `digital native’ effect Researchers want publishers to focus on the basics, not more `bells and whistles’ Researchers would love to be able to search across licensed library full text content using a simple search engine, like Google. 26 26
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