Investigating Blogs and Facebook in Academe: Research Approaches and Considerations

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Presentation given on October 11, 2012 at the Social Media Lab at Dalhousie University.

Abstract: This presentation provides an overview of the decisions, strategies and protocols informing the research design for four studies recently completed or underway. Funded in part through a Eugene Garfield Dissertation Fellowship awarded by Beta Phi Mu, the first is a descriptive study of blogging scholars, and their blogs, in the areas of history, economics, law, biology, chemistry and physics. Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and blog analysis. Sampling for this study resulted in the identification of many blogs found to be publicly available but no longer actively published to. This led to the second study, “Dispatches from Blog Purgatory.” It entails content analysis of the final posts published to scholars’ publicly available, but inactive blogs. The third study utilizes questionnaires, interviews, and blog and CV analysis to examine and contrast two subsets of bibliobloggers: blogging academic librarians and blogging information and library science faculty and researchers. The final study adopts a multiple-case approach to examine library and information science faculty and students’ practices, perceptions and expectations when interacting informally through Facebook. Data is collected through focus group and individual interviews, questionnaires, and policy analysis.

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Investigating Blogs and Facebook in Academe: Research Approaches and Considerations

  1. 1. INVESTIGATING BLOGS &FACEBOOK IN ACADEMERESEARCH APPROACHES & CONSIDERATIONS CAROLYN.HANK@MCGILL.CA Assistant Professor ▪ School of Information Studies DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY ▪ 11 OCTOBER 2012 ▪ HALIFAX, NS
  2. 2. partone
  3. 3. TEACHINGIN THE AGE OF FACEBOOKAND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA:LIS FACULTY AND STUDENTS’ FRIENDINGAND POKING IN THE SOCIAL SPHERE facebook
  4. 4. WHOWHYHOW 2012 ALISE Research Grant Competition
  5. 5. Carolyn Hank PI (McGill)Cassidy Sugimoto Co-PI (IUB) Jeff Pomerantz Co-PI (UNC)
  6. 6. Carolyn Hank PI (McGill)Cassidy Sugimoto Co-PI (IUB) Jeff Pomerantz Co-PI (UNC)
  7. 7. Carolyn Hank PI (McGill)Cassidy Sugimoto Co-PI (IUB) Fred Jeff Pomerantz Stutzman, Co-PI (UNC) Advisor (UNC)
  8. 8. SOCIAL NETWORK SITES 59% OF ADULT INTERNET USERS USE 1+ SNSs BASED ON 79% OF AMERICANS WHO REPORT USING THE INTERNET (N=2,255)Data Source: Hampton et al. (2011)Image Source: Donovan (2010)
  9. 9. SNS USERS ON FACEBOOK 92 %Source: Hampton et al. (2011)
  10. 10. FACULTY USE OF FACEBOOK 57 % VISITED FACEBOOK IN THE PAST MONTH (N=1,920)Source: Moran et al. (2011)
  11. 11. FACULTY USE OF FACEBOOK 43 % POSTED TO FACEBOOK IN THE SAME PERIOD (N=1,920)Source: Moran et al. (2011)
  12. 12. FRIENDS HIGH SCHOOL EXTENDED FAMILY CO-WORKERS COLLEGE FRIENDS IMMEDIATE FAMILY PEOPLE FROM VOLUNTEER GROUPS NEIGHBORS 229 FACEBOOK FRIENDS REPORTED, FOR AVERAGE FACEBOOK USER IN SAMPLESource: Hampton et al. (2011)
  13. 13. FACULTY & STUDENT … “FRIENDS”229 FACEBOOK FRIENDSknown about howFACEBOOK USER IN SAMPLE Little is REPORTED, FOR AVERAGE students and faculty interact informally on Facebook
  14. 14. DUAL RELATIONSHIPS TEACHER MENTOR SUPERVISOR “… a professional tries to simultaneously fill EMPLOYER two or more different COLLABORATOR roles.” Rupert & Holmes, 1997, p. 661 COLLEAGUE FRIEND
  15. 15. CONTEXT COLLAPSE TEACHER MENTOR SUPERVISOR BLURRED BOUNDARIES EMPLOYER BETWEEN OUR COLLABORATOR PERSONAL AND COLLEAGUE PROFESSIONAL LIVES … FRIEND AMONG A VARIETY OF RELATIVE CHANNELS PARTNER ETC.
  16. 16. GUIDANCE ON DUAL RELATIONSHIPS HONOR CODES/CODES OFCONDUCT SNS POLICIES Metzger et al. (2010)
  17. 17. Describe LIS faculty andstudents’ informalinteractions viaFacebook research objectives
  18. 18. Inform social networkand communicationpolicy decision-makingat LIS programs research objectives
  19. 19. Inform futureapproaches for otheracademic units,regardless of discipline,to investigateconnections betweenpedagogy and socialnetwork sites, includingFacebook research objectives
  20. 20. HOW?Develop and pilot test anapproach to studying …
  21. 21. … LIS faculty, students’ andadministrators’ perceptions,experiences, practices, and decision-making formanaging communicationswith one another, if at all, via Facebook;
  22. 22. … their expectations for such communications,including issues related to disclosure and privacy;
  23. 23. … and the impact ofclassroom and institutional policies, if any, on such interactions.
  24. 24. RESEARCH DESIGN MCGILL IUB SETTINGS UNC
  25. 25. RESEARCH DESIGN FOCUS 1:1 POLICY WEB-BASED FOCUSGROUPS INTERVIEWS INTERVIEWS ANALYSIS SURVEYS GROUPSFACULTY ASSOC. DEANS/ SYLLABI Q1: FACULTYSTUDENTS DIRECTOR SOCIAL MEDIA Q2: STUDENTS-UG INST’L POLICIES-MLIS -SCHOOL-PhD -FACULTY -UNIVERISTY SPRING-SUMMER 2012 SUMMER-FALL 2012 FALL-WINTER 2012EXPLORATORY TOOLS DESCRIPTIVE
  26. 26. SOURCES … so farHampton et al. (2011). Social networking sites and our lives. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. http://pewinternet.org/ Reports/2011/Technology-and-social-networks.aspxMoran, M., Seaman, J., & Tinti-Kane, H. (2011). Teaching, learning, and sharing: How today’s higher education faculty use social media. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonlearningsolutions.com/educators /pearson-social-media-survey-2011-bw.pdfRupert, P.A., & Holmes, D.L. (1997). Dual relationships in higher education: Professional and institutional guidelines. Journal of Higher Education, 68(6), 660-678.[Image Source] Donovan, K. (2010, January 29). Social media heart collage. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ kdonovan_gaddy/4314365065/
  27. 27. part twofour studies from 2006 through today
  28. 28. BLOGS &PRESERVATION General Bloggers - CHOEMPRAYONG & SHEBLE (2006-2008) - BLOGFOREVER: EU-FUNDED PROJECT (http://blogforever.eu) Scholar Bloggers - HUMANITIES, SOCIAL SCIENCES, SCIENCES, PROF. & USEFUL ARTS -HISTORY, ECONOMICS, LAW, BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY & PHYSICS - BIBLIOBLOGGERS
  29. 29. 2006-20081 GENERAL BLOGGERS QUESTIONNAIRES n=223 SNOWBALL SAMPLINGSheble, L., Choemprayong, S., & Hank. C. (2007). Preservation in context: Survey of blogging behaviors. In Proceedings of the Third International Digital Curation Conference. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre.
  30. 30. 2006-20081 GENERAL BLOGGERSFindings FutureBlog:Blogger not 1:1 MethodContent dynamic ResponsibilityBloggers interested in DP Access scenariosSave some but not all Use scenariosPersonal responsibility Intellectual PropertyCapability, though? VersioningAccess, use and extent? Process in time conclusions
  31. 31. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) BLOG n=93 QUESTIONNAIRES INTERVIEWS BLOGGER n=153 BLOG ANALYSIS HISTORY, ECONOMICS, LAW, BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY & PHYSICSHank. C. (2011). Scholars and their blogs: Characteristics, preferences, and perceptions impacting digitalpreservation (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database (UMI No. 3456270).
  32. 32. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) How do scholars who blog perceive their blog in relation to their cumulative scholarly record? research questions
  33. 33. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) How do they perceive their blog in relation to long-term stewardship? Who do they perceive as responsible as well as capable for blog preservation? research questions
  34. 34. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) What blog characteristics impact preservation? What blogger behaviours impact preservation? research questions
  35. 35. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) Multiple instances Multiple authors ? Scholar blogger(?) Scholarly blog(?) Currency Timing design considerations
  36. 36. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) Questionnaires BLOGS InterviewsBLOGGERS Blog Analysis data sources/units of analysis
  37. 37. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK population sampling issues
  38. 38. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) CHAMELEON IN A HAYSTACK population sampling issues
  39. 39. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) Purposive Sampling Academic Blog Portal 644 <http://www.academicblogs.org> blogs History| Economics | Law | BioChemPhys sample source
  40. 40. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) HOMOGENEITY SAMPLE Blogs & bloggers CODING Nine criteria SYSTEM sampling
  41. 41. BLOG ELIGIBILITYCONTINUED PUBLICLY AVAILABLE PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH KNOWLEDGE OR PERSONAL BLOG TIME-STAMPED POSTS ACTIVELY PUBLISHED TO AT LEAST 1 YEAR OLDPERSONAL IDENTIFIERS (RE: AUTHORSHIP)
  42. 42. CONTINUEDAUTHORED BY 1 OR MORE SCHOLARS SCHOLAR CRITERIA a) 1+ descriptor: Ph.D., Dr., Professor, Reader, Lecturer, Doctoral Student, or Doctoral Candidate b) 1+ descriptor (Scholar, Academic, Researcher, Research Director, Fellow, Biologist) and institutional affiliation c) Link to blogger’s CV or the like with 1+ citation to a journal article d) Graduate student and explicit reference to area of study or pursuant degree
  43. 43. ASSESSMENT History Econ Law Sciences Criterion Freq (%) Freq (%) Freq (%) Freq (%)Publicly available 168 (90%) 163 (85%) 113 (95%) 126 (88%)Published in English 159 (84%) 151 (79%) 111 (93%) 123 (85%)Knowledge or 146 (77%) 140 (73%) 93 (78%) 119 (83%)personal blogTime-stamped posts 145 (77%) 140 (73%) 93 (78%) 118 (82%)Actively published to 68 (36%) 83 (43%) 58 (49%) 62 (43%)At least 1 year old 58 (31%) 66 (34%) 53 (45%) 54 (38%)Personal identifiers in 53 (28%) 59 (31%) 48 (40%) 48 (33%)regard to authorshipAuthored by 1 or morebloggers meeting 46 (24%) 51 (27%) 47 (40%) 44 (31%)scholar parameters
  44. 44. ELIGIBLE BLOGS (29%) 125 Single-Blogs | 63 Co-Blogs sampling frame one
  45. 45. BLOGGER ELIGIBILITY CO-BLOGS : POSTED W/IN 1 MONTH CO-BLOGS: MEETS SCHOLAR CRITERIA ALL BLOGS: BLOGGER CONTACT INFO
  46. 46. ELIGIBLE BLOGGERS 107 Single Bloggers | 187 Co-Bloggers sampling frame two
  47. 47. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) Lenhart & Fox (2006) Herring et al. (2005a, b) Morton and Price (1999) Olsen et al. (2009) Do not Rainie (2005) White & Winn (2009) Hank et al. (2007) reinventthe wheel instrument design
  48. 48. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) QUESTIONNAIRESQ1 (single-bloggers): 41 to 58 questions Q2 (co-bloggers): 41 to 62 questions Qualtrics questionnaires
  49. 49. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) PRE-TESTING us/uk bloggers researchers preservationists questionnaires
  50. 50. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) All eligible bloggers invited (N=294) Personalized Email Salutation | Blog Title | Blog URL | PIN Manual Invite and 2 reminders Timing of invitation email Available for 3 weeks No inducements questionnaire administration
  51. 51. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) RR 1: QI: 63% | QII: 46% | QI/II: 52% Completed sample: 153 respondentsOutcome rates derived from Internet surveys of specifically named personsfrom the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR, 2009) completed sample
  52. 52. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) 24 semi-structured phone interviews 72 (47%) of QI & QII respondents expressed interest interviews
  53. 53. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) Concurrent to other data collection 11 to 14 questions Protocol | Debriefing sheet| Pre-testing 24 phone interviews Semi-structured 15 to 25+ minutes interviews
  54. 54. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE)Coded 93 blogs: 61 single/32 co-blogs (SR: 49.5%) Authorship Attributes Blog Elements & Features Rights & Disclaimers57 to 63 Indicators Authority & Audience (ON/OFF BLOG) Blog Publishing Activity Post Features Archiving blog analysis
  55. 55. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) …tick tock tick tock Time in Single-Blog Co-Blog Count Minutes Frequency (%) Frequency (%) ≤9 17 (28%) 5 (15%) 10 to 19 32 (52%) 24 (73%) 20 to 29 9 (15%) 2 (6%) 30 to 39 2 (3%) 1 (6%) ≥ 40 1 (2%) - blog analysis
  56. 56. REMEMBER … History Econ Law Sciences Criterion Freq (%) Freq (%) Freq (%) Freq (%)Publicly available 168 (90%) 163 (85%) 113 (95%) 126 (88%)Published in English 159 (84%) 151 (79%) 111 (93%) 123 (85%)Knowledge or 146 (77%) 140 (73%) 93 (78%) 119 (83%)personal blogTime-stamped posts 145 (77%) 140 (73%) 93 (78%) 118 (82%)Actively published to 68 (36%) 83 (43%) 58 (49%) 62 (43%)At least 1 year old 58 (31%) 66 (34%) 53 (45%) 54 (38%)Personal identifiers in 53 (28%) 59 (31%) 48 (40%) 48 (33%)regard to authorshipAuthored by 1 or morebloggers meeting 46 (24%) 51 (27%) 47 (40%) 44 (31%)scholar parameters WHAT ABOUT THOSE INACTIVE, BUT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE BLOGS?
  57. 57. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE)Available but not actively published to % in previous 3 months left no message behind (n=156) on where they went or if they will be back etc. blog analysis
  58. 58. 2011-PRESENT3 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (INACTIVE) BLOGX BLOG ANALYSIS n=909 N=1779 no new posts > 3 months HUMANITIES, SOCIAL SCIENCES, SCIENCES, PROF. & USEFUL ARTSHank. C., & Lent, A.R. (2012). Dispatches from blog purgatory: Final messages from scholars’ inactive blogs.#Influence12: Symposium & workshop on measuring influence on social media. Halifax, Nova Scotia
  59. 59. 2011-PRESENT3 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (INACTIVE)“SENTIMENT ANALYSIS” BY HAND PRELIMINARY! 556 ACTIVE BLOGS (61%) 353 (39%) INACTIVE BLOGS currently published no new posts “farewell” post? 230NONE (65%) 77 (22%) LAST POST ONLY
  60. 60. 2012-PRESENT4 BIBLIOBLOGGERSBLOG X BLOG QUESTIONNAIRES INTERVIEWS BLOGGER BLOG ANALYSIS CV ANALYSIS OCLC/ALISE Library & Information Science Research Grant Program ACADEMIC LIBRARIANS & BIBLIOBLOGGERS? INFORMATION AND LIBRARY SCIENCE not bible … FACULTY/RESEARCHERS
  61. 61. 2009-20112 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS (ACTIVE) results(?) BIBLIOBLOGGERS 2012-PRESENT4 BIBLIOBLOGGERS
  62. 62. SCHOLARSHIP Public 100% Allows use andScholarly exchange 94% record 80% Subject to critical review 68% 66% agree with all three criteria Association of Research Libraries (1986)2 Braxton, J.M., Luckey, W., SCHOLAR BLOGGERS & Helland, P. (2002)
  63. 63. SCHOLARLY LIFE PROMOTION GREATER VISIBILITY WORK ENJOYMENT TEACHING QUALITY SHARING PRE-PUBS IMPROVED WRITING EFFICIENCY NEITHER WRITING QUALITY IMPAIRED RESEARCH QUALITY RESEARCH CREATIVITYRESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  64. 64. INVITATIONS … impact & reward % … to present2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  65. 65. INVITATIONS … impact & reward % … to collaborate2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  66. 66. INVITATIONS … impact & reward % … to serve2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  67. 67. INVITATIONS … impact & reward % … to publish2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  68. 68. PRESERVATION % preservation for public access & use into the indefinite future2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  69. 69. PRESERVATION Personal access/use 16% Short-term future Public access/use 19% Short-term future Personal access/use 76% Indefinite future Public access/use 80% Indefinite future 0% 100%2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  70. 70. 100%90%80%70% Blogger Co-Author(s)60% Provider/Host/Network50% Search Engine Public Trust40%30%20% RESPONSIBILITY CAPABILITY2 preservation SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  71. 71. 100%90%80% Blogger Co-Author(s)70% Provider/Host/Network60% Search Engine50% Public Trust40% Natl Library Natl Archive30% Instl Library20% Instl Archive10% Instl IT Dept 0% RESPONSIBILITY CAPABILITY2 preservation SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  72. 72. Better things to do2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  73. 73. PRESERVATION PRIORITY Journal articles Books Blogs Peer-Reviewed Pubs Blogs Published Papers Journal articles Filter Dissertations Teaching materials & Theses Blogs Pedagogical Research & Tools Class Self-Publications Blogs Traditional Publications Lab Notebooks Select Scientific & Scholarly Research Monographs Blog Posts Works-in-progress Email Informal Publications Law review articles Personnel Book Reviews Books Communications HIGHER LOWER2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  74. 74. Better things to do Personal responsibility2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  75. 75. SAVING Subscription services Export tools Personal back-upsDocument/text files Via syndication services % Purposefully save entire blog via an archiving service or independently 2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  76. 76. SAVING Export tools Personal back-upsDocument/text files Via syndication services % Purposefully save some blog components 2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  77. 77. Better things to do Personal responsibility Personal communications2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  78. 78. DISCLAIMERS THOUGH 80% FEEL BLOG IS PART OF THEIR SCHOLARLY RECORD … Own opinion Not responsible Advice % have an explicit or implicit disclaimer-style statement BLOG2
  79. 79. Better things to do Personal responsibility Personal communications Bad experience2 SCHOLAR BLOGGERS
  80. 80. more … SOURCESAssociation of Research Libraries. (1986). The changing system of scholarly communication. Washington, DC: Author.Braxton, J.M., Luckey, W., & Helland, P. (2002). Institutionalizing a broader view of scholarship through Boyer’s four domains: ASHE-ERIC higher education report. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Hank. C. (2011). Scholars and their blogs: Characteristics, preferences, and perceptions impacting digital preservation (Doctoral dissertation). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database (UMI No. 3456270).Hank, C., Sheble, L., & Choemprayong, S. (2007). Informing blog appraisal through bloggers’ perspectives on selection and preservation. Paper presented at the Conference on Appraisal in the Digital World, Rome, Italy.Hank. C., & Lent, A.R. (2012). Dispatches from blog purgatory: Final messages from scholars’ inactive blogs. #Influence12: Symposium & workshop on measuring influence on social media. Halifax, Nova Scotia.Herring, S.C., Kouper, I., Paolillo, J.C., Scheidt, L.A., Tyworth, M., Welsch, P., Wright, E., & Yu, N. (2005). Conversations in the blogosphere: An analysis “from the bottom up.” In Proceedings of the 38th Hawaii International Conference on System Science. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Press.
  81. 81. more … SOURCESHerring, S.C., Scheidt, L.A., Wright, E., & Bonus, S. (2005). Weblogs as a bridging genre. Information Technology & People, 18(2), 142-171. doi: 10.1108/09593840510601513.Lenhart, A., & Fox, S. (2006). Bloggers: A portrait of the Internet’s new story tellers. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2006/Bloggers.aspx.Morton, H.C., & Price, A.J. (1989). The ACLS survey of scholars: Final report of views on publications, computers, and libraries. Washington DC: Office of Scholarly Communication and Technology, American Council of Learned Societies.Olsen, D., Berlin, E., Olsen, E., McLean, J., & Sussman, M. (2009). State of the blogosphere: 2009. Technorati. Retrieved from http://technorati.com/ blogging/feature/state-of-the-blogosphere-2009/.Rainie, L. (2005). The state of blogging. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2005/The- State-of-Blogging.aspx.Sheble, L., Choemprayong, S., & Hank. C. (2007). Preservation in context: Survey of blogging behaviors. In Proceedings of the Third International Digital Curation Conference. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre.White, D., & Winn, P. (2009). State of the blogosphere: 2008. Technorati. Retrieved from http://technorati.com/blogging/feature/state-of-the-blogosphere-2008/.
  82. 82. THANK YOU …CAROLYN HANKEmail: carolyn.hank@mcgill.caPhone: (001)514.398.4684SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/carolynhank/Slideshow:THANKS TO …FACEBOOK: ALISE 2012 RESEARCH GRANTBLOGS: OCLC/ALISE LIS RESEARCH GRANT PROGRAM;BETA PHI MU (EUGENE GARFIELD DISSERTATION AWARD QUESTIONS?

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