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Openness and Impact inAcademia Using SocialMediaJane Tinkler, LSE Public Policy GroupLondon School of EconomicsCritical Pe...
Traditional academic communication isfairly ‘closed’• Core set of journal articles, conference papers, books andchapters, ...
Digital academic communication can bemore ‘open’• Growth of ejournal subscriptions and ebooks that can beaccessed simultan...
How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your rese...
A teamfrom the World Bank examined the influence ofeconomicblogs on download figuresfor articles
A teamfrom NCRM compared the effectof twitterandothercommunication channels on a paper’s downloads
An individual academicused twitterto share a link toher work
How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your rese...
Overall11% of externalreferencesto academicworkinour datasetwere from blogs0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10EconomicsIRBusiness/Manag...
Referencesto academicworkin blogs vary widelybysector0 5 10 15 20 25 30GovernmentThink tanksPrivate sectorMedia/pressCivil...
How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your rese...
Collaboration leads to increased citations0200400600800100012000 1 2 3 4 5 6 ormoreNumberofOutputsNumber of Co-authorsCo-a...
How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your rese...
Open-ness and impact1. The first step towards creating impact is making yourresearch more open and visible.2. Use freely a...
Create a Google Scholar Citation profile
Open-ness and impact1. The first step towards impact is making your research moreopen and visible.2. Use freely available ...
Just over a quarter of academic referenceswere from external sourcesUniversity departments (20%)Academicpublishersand jour...
Does ‘open-ness’ have drawbacks?1. The focus on dissemination and impact can feel like a newresponsibility in addition to ...
Time pressures and lack of resources are realconstraints on open-ness and impactHigher EducationInstitutionPrivate / publi...
Does ‘open-ness’ have drawbacks?1. The focus on dissemination and impact can feel like a newresponsibility in addition to ...
For more see:Maximising the Impacts of your Research: A handbook for socialscientistsUsing Twitter in University Research,...
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Using social media to disseminate academic work

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Tinkler, J. (2013) 'Openness and Impact in Academia Using Social Media'. Presentation to the Critical Perspectives on ‘Open-ness’ in the Digital University conference,
Edinburgh University, November 2012.

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Using social media to disseminate academic work

  1. 1. Openness and Impact inAcademia Using SocialMediaJane Tinkler, LSE Public Policy GroupLondon School of EconomicsCritical Perspectives on ‘Open-ness’ in the Digital University,Edinburgh University, November 2012
  2. 2. Traditional academic communication isfairly ‘closed’• Core set of journal articles, conference papers, books andchapters, and occasional book reviews.• Journal articles and books are read by some in your field,but don’t often break into other disciplines and are rarelypicked up by the media.• The texts of books and articles are inaccessible to thosewithout subscription/library access.• Outputs are often fairly long and in language that issometimes meaningful only to other academics.• This reflects a one-way (experts only) communicationsprocess.
  3. 3. Digital academic communication can bemore ‘open’• Growth of ejournal subscriptions and ebooks that can beaccessed simultaneously by student groups as well asthose working off-site.• University websites and online depositories hostacademic research for those outside the academy whowant to read them.• The ‘academic spring’ pressure for research to be openaccess has gathered pace and now some funders and theUK government are supporting this move.• Universities and academics are taking up opportunitiesprovided by social media for communication anddissemination on the back of the ‘impact agenda’.
  4. 4. How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your research.
  5. 5. A teamfrom the World Bank examined the influence ofeconomicblogs on download figuresfor articles
  6. 6. A teamfrom NCRM compared the effectof twitterandothercommunication channels on a paper’s downloads
  7. 7. An individual academicused twitterto share a link toher work
  8. 8. How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your research.2. This is especially the case for some disciplines and somesectors where debates are increasingly taking place online.
  9. 9. Overall11% of externalreferencesto academicworkinour datasetwere from blogs0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10EconomicsIRBusiness/ManagementGeographyPolitical ScienceSociologySocial PolicyAnthropologyLawHistoryPsychologyPhilosophyMedia% external refs from blogs
  10. 10. Referencesto academicworkin blogs vary widelybysector0 5 10 15 20 25 30GovernmentThink tanksPrivate sectorMedia/pressCivil society% external refs from blogs
  11. 11. How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your research.2. This is especially the case for some disciplines and somesectors where debates are increasingly taking place online.3. It also helps you to read more (or more wisely) within yourdiscipline, as well as in ‘near’ subjects.4. Which can lead to increased collaborations with otheracademics outside your usual networks. Our research hasshown cross-disciplinary, multi-authored and multi-institutional works have more impact.
  12. 12. Collaboration leads to increased citations0200400600800100012000 1 2 3 4 5 6 ormoreNumberofOutputsNumber of Co-authorsCo-authorship andNumber of Outputs010002000300040005000600070000 1 2 3 4 5 6 ormoreCitationsreceivedNumber of Co-authorsCo-authorship andCitationsMost outputs in our datasetwere single authored, butmore cites went to outputsthat had at least one otherauthor
  13. 13. How does using social media help makeyour research more ‘open’?1. Put very simply, it allows more people to read your research.2. This is especially the case for some disciplines and somesectors where debates are increasingly taking place online.3. It also helps you to read more (or more wisely) within yourdiscipline, as well as in ‘near’ subjects.4. Which can lead to increased collaborations with otheracademics outside your usual networks. Our research hasshown multi-authored, multi-institutional works have moreimpact.5. Being part of an academic online community = eventpublicity, support, guidance, fact-checking and more.
  14. 14. Open-ness and impact1. The first step towards creating impact is making yourresearch more open and visible.2. Use freely available tools to create a public profile for youand your work.
  15. 15. Create a Google Scholar Citation profile
  16. 16. Open-ness and impact1. The first step towards impact is making your research moreopen and visible.2. Use freely available tools to create a public profile for youand your work.3. Make full use of your university’s resources (like onlinedepositories, Expert directories, knowledge transferschemes).4. Build communication and dissemination plans into researchprojects early on.5. Work with stakeholders and intermediary organisations tohelp make your research more open.6. BUT be realistic as to what you can expect.
  17. 17. Just over a quarter of academic referenceswere from external sourcesUniversity departments (20%)Academicpublishersand journals(20%)All libraries(14%)Digital aggregators (4%)Academicassocs. andsocieties(7%)Independentthink tanks(4%)Media andpress(5%)Civil society and thirdsector(7%)Govt & policy(5%)Privatesector(3%)Individs(4%)Univ.centresandinstits.(7%)DigitalresearchdatabasesAcademicresearchandengagement
  18. 18. Does ‘open-ness’ have drawbacks?1. The focus on dissemination and impact can feel like a newresponsibility in addition to all the other things you do as anacademic.
  19. 19. Time pressures and lack of resources are realconstraints on open-ness and impactHigher EducationInstitutionPrivate / public / thirdsector organisation Lack of time Bureaucracy and inflexibility ofHEI administration Difficulties in identifying partners Insufficient rewards and lack ofawareness of the benefits fromthe interactions Lack of understanding byacademics of the process Capacity and capability of the KEsystem still developing / evolving Lack of resources withinexternal organisations to fundthe KE engagement Insufficient benefits from theinteraction Lack of interest by externalorganisations and lack ofdemand for KE Intellectual propertyagreements as a barrier tosome, albeit minority of, KEengagementSource: PACEC/CBR Survey of Academics (2008); PACEC/CBR Survey ofEnterprise Offices (2010); CBR Survey of Enterprises (2008)
  20. 20. Does ‘open-ness’ have drawbacks?1. The focus on dissemination and impact can feel like a newresponsibility in addition to all the other things you do as anacademic.2. If you start a blog or create a twitter feed for a project, youneed to keep these up which takes times and resources.3. Being open with your research methods, stakeholders orfindings could place restrictions on what you feel you cansay.4. Moderating the quality of discussion and debate via socialmedia tools can be hard. This can’t replace peer review butsome quality assurances can be built into how social mediais used.5. You can receive instant feedback on your work, and it is allpublic. Can be very nerve-wracking for individual academicsand universities.
  21. 21. For more see:Maximising the Impacts of your Research: A handbook for socialscientistsUsing Twitter in University Research, Teaching andImpact Activities: A guide for academics andresearchersFreely available to download from theImpact of Social Sciences blog:http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/Email: impactofsocialsciences@lse.ac.ukTwitter: @lseimpactblogFacebook: Impact of Social Sciences

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