Social Media for Medical Researchers: Is it worth the time?


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Session for Early Career Researchers in Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney, 25 September 2013.
Presenters: Julie Leask and Cameron Webb, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney

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Social Media for Medical Researchers: Is it worth the time?

  1. 1. Social media: Is it worth the time? Julie Leask, School of Public Health Cameron Webb, Medical Entomology, Sydney Medical School & Pathology West – ICPMR Westmead Session for University of Sydney Early Career Researchers at Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW Australia Picture
  2. 2. • What is social media all about? • Lets talk about Twitter • What is the reach? • How can you engage your “audience”? • How can you enhance your research? • How can you expand your networks? • Why it relevant to ECRs? This session….
  3. 3. What is social media? “A group of Internet-based applications that … allow the exchange of user- generated content”. (Kaplan 2010) Not just for celebrities Engage with policy makers, media, communities Contribute an informed voice Source:
  4. 4. Lots of options for social media but choice will depend on objectives (as well as technical resources)
  5. 5. To blog or not to blog? (a “mozzie” blogger?)
  6. 6. • Free • Easy to sign up • Minimal personal info • Need email address • Select “user name” • Many platforms TWITTER
  7. 7. Some terminology to get you started…. Term What is it? Example Tweet Messages sent by users up to 140 characters Hastag Collect a series of tweets around a specific topic Retweet A tweet by one user resent by one or more other users Mention When one user includes another user in their tweet
  8. 8. Image source:
  9. 9. The potential reach › Video from Box Hill Tafe 2011
  11. 11. Timely incident communication …the Queensland Floods Information: "Train services are resuming in parts of Brisbane. Stop walking on the tracks #TheBigWet #qldfloods" "No homes can be reconnected to electricity until they have been certified as safe by an electrician #qldfloods #TheBigWet“ Mythbusting Wivenhoe Dam is NOT about to collapse! #thebigwet #qldfloods" There is currently NO fuel shortage in Brisbane. #qldfloods #thebigwet The lighter side We're building an Ark Help! I've lost my Goldfish Source:
  12. 12. 187,000 As a researcher…
  13. 13. k9624 s2209 (Bayer Crop Science for PhD student David Lilly) k9624 s2209 (Bayer Crop Science for PhD student David Lilly) “Reach” and “Exposure” of tweets sent 2012-2013 ABC Local radio “Today Show” The Conversation
  14. 14. Extending the conversation Follow up and archive Engaging media
  15. 15. Re-published in Crikey, ABC The Drum, PS Bulletin, 6 Minutes Contribute your expertise to a discussion
  17. 17. Open science to improve schistosomiasis treatment Project led by Matthew Todd, School of Chemistry, University of Sydney
  18. 18.
  19. 19. Crowdfunding
  21. 21. Tracking influence of social media activity on access to publications
  22. 22. Tweeting your way to higher impact?
  24. 24. Social media for ECRs
  26. 26. Some researchers on twitter
  27. 27. • Professional code of practice • Internal yardsticks, “What would (insert name) think?” • External yardsticks, eg, a „buddy‟ • Separating platforms eg, Twitter for professional and Facebook for personal Professionalism • Takes time commitment varies – you choose • Long time to build followers and generate impact Time commitment •The „blowtorch test‟ can benefit ideas and force you to clarify things •De-individuation •Bullying and harassment exists in some areas •Risk manage Being open to criticism Issues to consider
  28. 28. Questions for you…. What do you do? What are you wanting to achieve? How can social media help?
  29. 29. USEFUL ARTICLE Bik HM, Goldstein MC (2013) An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists. PLoS Biol 11(4): e1001535. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001535
  30. 30. Thank you Join the conversation with @julieleask and @mozziebites