Using social media as a scientist


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This was created for a group discussion at the Institute for Systems Biology (@ISBUSA). I discuss the concept and importance of using social media as a scientist.

Almost all logos and social media outlets in the presentation are clickable, leading to examples. So click away!

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  • Altmetrics sources: ImpactStory,, Plum Analytics, CitedIn, Mendeley, CiteULike

    Article level metrics. #altmetrics

    BioMed Central, PLoS, Frontiers, Nature PG, Elsevier
  • Steven Watterson @systemsbiology
  • Using social media as a scientist

    1. 1. Do you have a strong online presence? Vangelis Simeonidis June 5 2014 Why the hell not?
    2. 2. or
    3. 3. What if you could… • Grow your network • Build a reputation • Get instant feedback • Start collaborations • Find job opportunities • Reach more people • Publish more
    4. 4. Visibility • Your online presence is the new CV • Becoming more visible – Share skills – Share experience – Publicize research activities
    5. 5. When should you start? • Your personal info and stats are out there • Anyone can collect and use them, even prospective employers • Your future position could depend on these, and it’s happening without you • Publications, impact factors, h-index, 10- index, and all kinds of altmetrics You already have! You just don’t know it
    6. 6. Where to start? • How about your home institution? • Usually editable • Will be highly indexed in search engines • Page does not exist until you create it! At least add a picture!!
    7. 7. Do you enjoy writing? • Your blog can be your voice • Write on what you really care about • If you built it, they will come • Great practice for your writing • Many careers have started with blogging • My blog is • Takes a significant time commitment • Beginners can start by contributing to established scientific blogs • WordPress, Blogger (blogspot), tumblr
    8. 8. Are you a brand? • Decide what you want other people to identify you with • For some it could be their name, or a field of research, or the name of a method/software • Douglas Kell IS DBK • Marleen Eijkholt IS Marleen.Neuroethics • Pedro Mendes IS Dr_gepasi • Lee Hood IS ISBLeeHood
    9. 9. BUT Social Media means being on ? • Best kept private? • Maybe not the best promotional tool for individuals, but a GREAT one for companies and institutions • Story of the “embarrassing photo” • … or worse
    10. 10. Social networks that resemble resumes • Professional networks • Link to people in your domain • Who you link to says a lot about you • Expose your work, skills, interests • Your profile WILL be seen!
    11. 11. Social networks built for scientists • Millions of members • (Slightly) different focus for each • Go hand in hand with OA movement and #altmetrics • Big players jumping in the game, landscape is rapidly changing
    12. 12. #altmetrics • Altmetrics sources: ImpactStory,, Plum Analytics, CitedIn, Mendeley, CiteULike • Article level metrics. Sprang out of the #altmetrics hashtag • BioMed Central, PLoS, Frontiers, Nature PG, Elsevier are all making various use of altmetrics
    13. 13. • 140 characters per posting • Follow other users; almost all have their streams set to open • Think of twitter as micro-blogging • People live-blog from conferences or talks • Keep up with research and news • Ask for help (#iCanHazPdf), share expertise, join discussions • Find publications, news, positions • Build an audience (1500 tweets, 350 followers, 500 following, and going) • Faster and more direct than email • ISB, many ISBers and the Price Lab are on twitter
    14. 14. • It really is like facebook • Only a lot more geeky and technical • One big benefit: Google Hangouts • The ISB and the Price Lab are on G+ too
    15. 15. Share your slides, posters & figures • Publicize your work and ideas • Share your expertise • Increase your audience • Talks and posters can go up here • They WILL be seen ( more than 5000 views and 100s downloads for my slides and posters)
    16. 16. … and more • Citations: Google Scholar • Altmetrics: ImpactStory • Papers and researchers: Microsoft Academic Search • Emphasize your uniqueness: ORCiD • Videos: YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare
    17. 17. • Web search engine for scholarly literature • Indexes journals, reports, preprints, theses, books and other sources (even webpages) • Metrics may not always be accurate
    18. 18. Co-author graphs on MS Academic Search
    19. 19. …and Erdos number!
    20. 20. ORCiD: 0000-0001-6153-4493 • Unique identifier for each scientist • Anyone can sign up • Not many services use it yet, but this is likely to change
    21. 21. Social media and OA • Sharing and social media participation go hand in hand with the Open Access movement • The mentality behind both is the same • Openness and cooperation is at the core of both • OA journals, preprint servers, and proponents of OA are some of the biggest participants (e.g. Michael Eisen - @mbeisen & “it is NOT junk”)
    22. 22. Many other ways to contribute • Blog • Edit • Wikis, Wikipedia • Share your work (preprints, slides, figures) • Share code (github) • Deposit to databases • Follow community standards • Publish or Perish Share or Suffer!
    23. 23. Preprint servers • arXiv • figshare • PeerJ • F1000Research • GitHub • even ResearchGate
    24. 24. Benefits of participation • Reputation • Praise • Networking • Your work WILL be seen! • New collaborations • Greater reach So why are you still here? Just do it!
    25. 25. Thank you twitter: blog: V for Valence slides:
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