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Making your research social: using social media as a pathway for sharing research


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This presentation was given at the CIARD-GFAR Regional workshop for the Near East in Amman, Jordan held October4-7th 2011.

This presentation was given at the CIARD-GFAR Regional workshop for the Near East in Amman, Jordan held October4-7th 2011.

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  • This seminar is aimed at giving you some food for thought and inspiration about how scientific research can be conducted these days, working in a virtual environment and adopting new web tools that can increase the efficiency of your work, and improve impact of  your research outputs. We’ll look at your specific context . We’ll talk about possible ways to collaborate with others, in the research project cycle and we’ll look at information and communication processes at the different stages of the project cycle, to see how they can be supported and improved by the adoption of online collaboration tools and social media.
  • Papers, articles etc are very important. But should not be the end of the line or the only thing we do!
  • We have to keep in mind another important element. Related to the overall mission of the CG centers, according to Robinson and Elliott. [Meta-evaluation of External Program and Management Reviews (EPMRs). Washington DC: CGIAR.] “The comparative advantage of the Centers is seen to be in contributing to poverty reduction in the provision of international public goods (or significant regional public goods).” Research organizations like the CGIAR (and its centers) not only have to produce high quality science. Indeed, it is critical that the research outputs are well communicated and disseminated. Further, they need to be put into use where needed. CGIAR research on IPGs – or PIGs, Public Information Goods - needs to generate outputs that can and will be used by others to provide local, national and regional benefits. This means CGIAR research outputs should be easily accessible to other actors that will adapt, build on and apply this knowledge. This is the objective we should always keep in mind when conducting our research.
  • We therefore then have to look at how to address the needs and challenges in our work with all the various actors. There are very real, practical needs within our everyday work all the way to achieving our larger goals. We therefore need to think about how to map our knowledge sharing and collaborative tools onto a framework which represents our research processes and practical needs. This seminar is to look at the new opportunities that exist for communicating, sharing, co-creating and developing research. The social media and many new Web2.0 tools as we have seen are useful at all stages of the research cycle. Particularly social media has been used to help us with promoting research (millions fed), social reporting of research meetings (Twitter, blogs etc)
  • We therefore then have to look at how to address the needs and challenges in our work with all the various actors. There are very real, practical needs within our everyday work all the way to achieving our larger goals. We therefore need to think about how to map our knowledge sharing and collaborative tools onto a framework which represents our research processes and practical needs. This seminar is to look at the new opportunities that exist for communicating, sharing, co-creating and developing research. The social media and many new Web2.0 tools as we have seen are useful at all stages of the research cycle. Particularly social media has been used to help us with promoting research (millions fed), social reporting of research meetings (Twitter, blogs etc)
  • How can we address these challenges? Start with this: dare to be different What does this imply? Bottom line, it’s about adopting a new paradigm and changing the way we work – with a different toolset and mindset  that enables new forms of science sharing, communication, and information
  • We as ICT=KM Team are working on this and supporting the move towards this new way of collaboration and communication along the research project cycle and making use of social media to enhance your communication, sharing and visibility. Indeed, the ICT-KM Program helps the CGIAR develop and sustain a culture of active information and knowledge sharing. This involves timely yet cost-effective multi-directional communications, the know-how to collaborate, and the tools to support multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams. The Program also supports champions of these changes throughout the System, explores and encourages incentives for change, and sponsors projects that show demonstrable value and impact.
  • Introduce ways to ‘publish’ posters, presentations and pictures in ways that make other parts of their research more accessible ad visible Triple A framework In this regards, CG committed to the CIARD Manifesto and adopted the Triple A – availability, accessibility, applicability – framework to make the most out of research outputs. The Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) initiative is working to make agricultural research information publicly available and accessible to all. With the Triple A framework, the objective is to make research outputs: Available: Research outputs are stored in appropriate open digital formats and described using public metadata standards so they can be found through structured search and access systems. Availability means assembling and storing content so it will be permanently accessible, and describing it in systems so others know, and can find, what outputs have been produced. Accessible: Research outputs are publicly available online using accepted public formats and appropriate licenses so they can be queried, viewed, and obtained in full. Accessibility means making outputs as easy to find and share and as open as possible, in the sense that others are free to use, reuse, and redistribute them, with appropriate acknowledgement and without restrictive legal, technological or financial barriers. Applicable: Research processes are open and inclusive so that all perspectives and knowledge are taken into account during research design, planning, implementation and communication. Applicability means research and innovation processes that are open to different sources of knowledge, and outputs that are easy to adapt, transform, apply and re-use. Source: Ballantyne, P. 2008. Making CGIAR Research Outputs Available and Accessible as IPGs
  • Looking at Pathways
  • One pathway is social media!
  • There are a lot of tools and methods out there now but often it is hard to figure out what tools to use for what purpose at what time, where and with whom
  • Introducing blogs Anyone seen, used, read or has a blog? We will get back to this more at the end of this presentation
  • Why blogs? The reasons to use blogs in research can be very different: - you can think about blogging to create spaces for discussing issues and having conversations without being filtered by size or editorial limitations; - you can use blogs to expanding your audience; - by blogging on a regular base, you can document the research process as it happens; - you can make your research findings and outputs more open and available for different stakeholders; - you can offer your reader quick informal updates on your domain of interest
  • Organize research, collaborate, and discover new knowledge Mendeley Desktop organizes your research paper collection and citations. It automatically extracts references from documents, generates bibliographies, and is freely available on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Mendeley Web lets you access your research paper library from anywhere, share documents in closed groups, and collaborate on research projects online. It connects you to like-minded academics and puts the latest research trend statistics at your fingertips.
  • Be the dj Brew your own beer
  • We can help you to find your way in this new environment and move towards ‘science 2.0’ but ultimately, it’s all about you. You are the one responsible for engaging in conversations with other users, for opening up your data, for exposing your knowledge and find the right pathways for collaboration, information and knowledge sharing. “We have to move towards the next generation of science communication where individuals and groups are empowered to document and communicate their own activities in different channels and social media.”
  • Transcript

    • 1. BEYOND THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE-MAKING YOUR RESEARCH SOCIAL: SOCIAL MEDIA AS TOOLS FOR SCIENCE COMMUNICATION At: Training of Trainers workshop on CIARD, By Nadia Manning-Thomas (CGIAR Communications and Knowledge team) Wednesday 5 th October 2011, Amman, Jordan)
    • 2. This workshop is about…
      • Achieving greater coherence in information for agricultural research for development
      • Enhancing the impact of science
    • 3. Session I: How to use Pathways effectively
    • 4. The ways we currently store and share knowledge…
      • Communication of research findings in peer-reviewed journals is the standard by which scientists and their findings are evaluated by the scientific community
      • Publication in high-impact journals ensures that research findings are accessible to the scientific community for use in related studies and translates into agricultural improvement throughout the region and around the world.
      • ..and in Near East region?
    • 5. But is this enough…?
      • To make your work visible?
      • To ensure research is available and accessible? And applicable?
      • To reach other stakeholders other then researchers? Or even to all researchers?
      • To translate into agricultural improvement and have impact?
    • 6.  
    • 7. Changing the toolset and the mindset
        • To collaborate better and ‘make the PIGs fly’ means:
        • Making our research more social!
        • Being social means:
          • The term  Social  refers to a characteristic of living organisms (humans in particular, though biologists also apply the term to populations of other animals). It always refers to the interaction of organisms with other organisms and to their collective co-existence, irrespective of whether they are aware of it or not, and irrespective of whether the interaction is  voluntary  or  involuntary .
    • 8. Changing the toolset and the mindset
        • This requires:
      • Looking for ways to improve the way we have conversations and share knowledge
      • Embedding knowledge sharing and collaborative tools and approaches in the research project cycle
      • Looking for ways to improve the way information is shared
        • E.g Communicating research with the use of social media
      • … and much more!
    • 9.  
    • 10.  
    • 11.  
    • 12. Website : The CIARD Vision “ To make public domain agricultural research information and knowledge truly accessible to all”
    • 13. Social media for research uptake
      • Definition (Wikipedia): ‘ Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies.’
      • Agricultural research and development organizations stand to benefit greatly from using social media tools as vehicles to get their message across.
      • Social media is about conversations enabled by tools such as blogs, microblogs, wikis, social networks, newsfeeds, photo and video sharing platforms.
      • The true value of social media lies in the social networks or communities that form within these social media tools.
    • 14.
        • ‘ Spaces’ where people interact
        • User-generated and ‘re-mixed’ content - anyone can be an author, publisher, or broadcaster;
        • Tools that enable interaction and collaboration;
        • Redefinition of established roles
      Social media tools
    • 15. So many tools! How to choose which one to use?
    • 16.
      • Step 1:Think about key stages/activities in your work
      • Step 2: What would you like to achieve, but is lacking in knowledge sharing, collaboration for each stage?
      • Step 3: Turn them into goals…
      • Step 4: Identify who to share, collaborate and engage with at each stage…and their capacity
      • Step 5: Look at the functionality of various tools—show them examples
      • Step 6: Match the tools to your stages and goals…keeping in mind the people!
      Choosing the right tool/pathway, achieving the right goals– The Knowledge Sharing in Research Framework online surveys, wikis, blogs, RSS, discussion forums online surveys, wikis, blogs, discussion forums, mindmapping, shared calendars, decision support systems wikis, blogs, photo sharing, google docs, discussion forums, intranets, shared calendars, shared reference list wikis, blogs, photo sharing, google docs, discussion forums, intranets wikis, blogs, microblogging, discussion forums, RSS, photo sharing, google docs, podcasting, shared reference list websites, wikis, blogs, microblogging, discussion forums, online surveys, RSS wikis, blogs, google docs, microblogging, photo sharing, social networking sites, intranets, instant messengers
    • 17.
      • A blog (or " web log ") is a type of website with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.
      • Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
      • Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries.
      • A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages , and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art ( Art blog ), photographs ( photoblog ), videos ( Video blogging ), music ( MP3 blog ), and audio ( podcasting ).
      • Source: Wikipedia -
      Social Media > Blogs
    • 18. Why blogs?
      • As informal ways to interact and share information on a project or piece of research
      • Extend the reach of a research output such as an article
      • Blogs can attract people with similar thoughts and questions, people who can validate your ideas and also challenge you by sharing varying opinions.
      • Blogging is a good way for researchers to share their research ideas with others and gain feedback from a wider, online audience  
    • 19. Institutional blog
      • ILRI Clippings:
    • 20. Program/Department blogs
      • CIAT DAPA Blogs
    • 21.
      • Fodder Adoption Project blog-
      Project blog
    • 22. Thematic/Network blogs
      • CG Rural Climate Exchange /
    • 23.
      • Most blogs contain the following elements:
        • a main content area with articles listed chronologically, newest on top;
        • an archive of older articles, to browse by month and/or category
        • an option for people to leave comment s about the articles;
        • a " blogroll “ listing links to other related sites
        • a tagcloud of the tags used in the posts
        • one or more RSS feeds
      Blog anatomy: Main elements
    • 24. How you blog
        • Decide on type of content and what topics you want to post about
        • Think about who you want to write for
        • Assign time and responsibilities for creating quality content
        • Create linkrolls (lists of your favorite links) and tagrolls (links of your most commonly used keywords).
        • Make sure your blog is on local or thematic blog directories
        • Use RSS feeds
        • Create a readership
      • Source: iMark - Web 2.0 and Social Media for Development
    • 25.
      • Microblogging involves posting short sentences to promote your journal article or a useful website, act as a reminder for an activity, or even ask questions.
      Social media > Microblogging
    • 26. When and why to use microblogs
        • Updating ‘status’
        • Supporting communities of practice, distribute questions to a large group of people
        • Getting instant feedback about issues common to your network
        • Reporting live from events, and engaging remote participation
        • Promoting promote articles, blog posts, new publications and content from your website(s)
        • Discussing ideas, posting news, asking questions, and sharing links and other information with co-workers
        • Connecting to and engaging with like-minded colleagues outside your organization
        • Discovering upcoming events, new happenings, interesting sites/links and tools
    • 27.  
    • 28.  
    • 29.  
    • 30. How you use twitter
        • Register a free account at --Use a simple, short name
        • Set up your profile and share a link to more about yourself
        • Share your location
        • Share a photo
        • Follow to be followed
          • You can start by following the different CG Centers
        • Build your network
        • Ask questions and share the things you are doing
        • Re-post valuable messages
        • Don’t spam
        • Embed/reuse feed information in other websites
    • 31.
      • A feed is a regularly updated summary (“syndication”) of contents – blog entries, headlines, publications, multimedia – in the form of metadata about the source and the contents. It includes links to the full versions of those contents at their original location.
      • Source:
      • Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. 
      • Source:
    • 32. When and why to use newsfeeds
        • As a way to track research and news from colleagues and across the internet
        • To keeping the users of your website and repository up to date with the latest developments (feeds are also particularly useful in low bandwidth environments)
        • To publish your content on other web sites and services you have a presence on
        • To let other services re-publish your content
    • 33. NEWSFEEDS ANATOMY: MAIN ELEMENTS Rural Climate Exchange
    • 34.  
    • 35. IFPRI RSS Feeds
    • 36. Some other ways to share too…
    • 37.
      • SlideShare is the best way to share presentations, documents and videos. 
    • 38.
      • e.g Flickr, Picasa
      • But there are others too
      • And also for video sharing!
      Photo sharing
    • 39.
      • Delicious is a Social Bookmarking service, which means you can save all your bookmarks online, share them with other people, and see what other people are bookmarking. It also means that we can show you the most  popular  bookmarks being saved right now across many areas of interest. In addition, our search and tagging tools help you keep track of your entire bookmark collection and find tasty new bookmarks from people like you
    • 40. Academic social network---Mendeley
      • Mendeley is a free  reference manager  and academic social network  that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.
      • Automatically  generate bibliographies, Collaborate easily  with other researchers online, Easily  import papers  from other research software, Find relevant papers  based on what you’re reading, Access your papers from  anywhere online
    • 41. Be creative! Combine the tools…
    • 42. Want to know more about social media and Web 2.0? Sources, resources and credits
      • Search any of these sites for resources on particular tools and methods
      • Credits:
      • ICT-KM program staff for some slides
        • ICT-KM Website/ Blog –
        • KSToolkit –
        • iMark – Web 2.0 and Social Media for Development
        • CIARD Pathways -
        • Blog Tips (blog)-
    • 43.  
    • 44. Session II: Groupwork
    • 45. In groups…
      • Discuss how social media pathways as shown- can be used in the WANA region for CIARD
    • 46.
      • Thurs. 6 th
      • 8:30-9:30
      Session III