Social media for scientists


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A introduction to social media for scientists: Why scientists should be online. Created by Paige Brown,

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  • Several studies have shown that tweeting and blogging about scientific findings can increase their impact.
  • Scientists can also tweet their research directly to decision makers. Most members of the US and Canadian governments have twitter accounts and are actively using them.
  • This paper was the product of a Twitter conversation itself!
  • Sciam gets 1000s to 10,000s page views per blog post
  • Social media for scientists

    1. 1. Social Media for Scientists Paige Brown PhD, Mass Communication, Science Communication
    2. 2. My Story • M.S., PhD Biological Engineering • My primary professor leaves WashU • I start a blog • I start PhD program in Manship School Digital media made this possible
    3. 3. What is social media? • Mailing lists • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Blogs “Social media platforms aren’t just digital water coolers. They are the way the world is networking and communicating. They are how and where we share information – with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and any and everyone else.” – Christie Wilcox
    4. 4. The Story of Scott Morello During a 2013 ScienceOnline meeting, Scott told Karyn over beers that he wasn’t sure why one should be using social media as a scientist… Karyn took to Twitter to convince Scott to start a Twitter profile…
    5. 5. Faculty members have found students via Twitter. Dean Lisa Graumlich at Wash U. says online outreach belongs in tenure metrics. Boosts in research efficiency. Networking
    6. 6. Why Use Social Media? • Boost your professional profile • Act as a public voice for science • Online outreach can help you get (NSF) funding! • Increase impact of your papers • Open science & Collaboration "Those that have the privilege to know, have the duty to act." - Albert Einstein.
    7. 7. MIT Engineering
    8. 8. Create Impact
    9. 9. Be Impact(ed) Highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles. Top-cited articles can be predicted from top-tweeted articles with 93% specificity and 75% sensitivity. - J Med Internet Res 2011;13(4):e123
    10. 10. Blog about your Science • Collaborative Blog posts have even lead to peer-reviewed papers. PresentationbyChristieWilcox
    11. 11. A Revolution: Open Science • Sharing scientific data, process, results, and opinions openly – Open access and data – Open peer review – Open data – Preprint sharing, – Scientific blogs @openscience #opendata #openaccess #icanhazpdf
    12. 12. Darling et al. (2013). The role of Twitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication. 7/peerj.preprints.16v1
    13. 13. Know How to Use it “Online social media tools can be some of the most rewarding and informative resources for scientists – IF you know how to use them.” – Bik & Goldstein 2013
    14. 14. Think about your Goals • What do you want out of your social media experience? – Increased citations for your papers? – Increased visibility of your research? – Outlet for opinions? – Collaboration? – Open data and sharing? – Translation of science for broad audience?
    15. 15. A good start: • Establish a professional website – Ex. • Follow social media accounts of scientists w/ similar interests (Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn) • Bring your science to the blogosphere –, Nature Network Blogs – Scientific American has a Guest Blog News written by university experts: Become an author @
    16. 16. Networking with Colleagues
    17. 17. A new database of scientists online, searchable by research interests and field of study.
    18. 18. • Among the commonly used social media, the 140-character microblogging service Twitter has been popular. Followers of scientists on Twitter Emily Darling. figshare. A virtual department to spark and share new ideas
    19. 19. EmilyDarling.figshare.
    20. 20. Tweeting Tips • You have 140 characters – use them wisely but accurately • Use URL shorteners: – – – • Add a Hashtag (#) – This marks it as a keyword within the Tweet and turns it into a link. Once clicked, it will bring up a list of other Tweets that include the same keyword. #fridaynightscience
    21. 21. “A majority of established bloggers (72% of 126 blogs surveyed) use Twitter as a complementary outlet for disseminating new blog posts to followers.” Shema H, Bar-Ilan J, Thelwall M (2012) Research blogs and the discussion of scholarly information. PLoS ONE 7: e35869 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035869.
    22. 22. Other Online Tools • Blogs – continuous, long-form science narratives • Facebook – networking • Digg, Reddit – content aggregation • Twitter – in the moment conversation, customized news streams, building and maintaining communities
    23. 23. Being Accurate • You CAN maintain scientific accuracy and rigor in your blog posts and social media posts. – Link to original research studies – Remember proper attribution to pictures, statistics, quotes, etc. – Learn to be concise but avoid buzzwords that can be misleading (“cure” “breakthrough”)
    24. 24. But what if… • My Big idea will be stolen? – You don’t have to share unpublished research – But don’t you do this at conferences? What is the difference? – There is more potential for help than harm… & they would probably pursue it differently than you anyway.
    25. 25. But what if… • I don’t have enough time? – It’s OK to not always keep up to date; take “vacations” from social media – Only post when you are motivated to do so – Post what you are passionate about – Make it a daily routine – Post as a lab GROUP
    26. 26. PresentationbyChristieWilcox
    27. 27. Thank you for listening! • Questions? Check out this library of social media outlets for scientists:
    28. 28. References • It’s Time for Scientists to Tweet: time-for-scientists-to-tweet-14658 • Social Networking for Scientists: The Wiki • How to Build an Enduring Online Research Presence Using Social Networking and Open Science, SlideShare, Titus Brown beaconcongresssocialmedia • Darling et al. (2013).The role of Twitter in the life cycle of a scientific publication. • Bik, H. M., & Goldstein, M. C. (2013). An Introduction to Social Media for Scientists. PLoS biology, 11(4), e1001535. • Images: Flickr by Jason A. Howie; Wikipedia; Screenshots