Seeking and sharing research information on social media: a presentation at #ECSM2014

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a presentation at European conference on Social Media at University of Brighton, 10 July 2014 #ECSM2014

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  • Comparing to the data sourced from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA 2013), our sample of UK academics was broadly representative of the UK academic population as defined by our primary demographic variables of gender, discipline areas, grades and age.
  • Seeking and sharing research information on social media: a presentation at #ECSM2014

    1. 1. Seeking and sharing research information on social media: A 2013 survey of scholarly communication A presentation at European Conference on Social Media ECSM 2014, University of Brighton, 10-11 July 2014 Yimei Zhu 4th year PhD Student Sociology & Social Statistics University of Manchester Yimie.zhu@manchester.ac.uk Twitter: @yimeizhu http://yimeizhueresearch.wordpress.com  Supervisor: Martin Everett & Kingsley Purdam
    2. 2. ‘Oh dear, I benefit but don't contribute. Oops.’ (survey respondent) • Do you seek research information on the social media? • Do you share? Why and why not?
    3. 3. Background  My PhD thesis:  Are the new forms of scholarly communication the pathway to open science?  Open Science:  1. Open access to publication  2. Share research data  3. Using social media to communicate research
    4. 4. Research Questions • a. To what extent do UK academics seek and share research information on social media? • b. Are there disciplinary disparities? • c. Are there age disparities? • d. Are there gender disparities?
    5. 5. Mixed-methods • Scoping studies • Pilot interviews (13 interviews, May 2012-March 2013) • Started my own blog, Twitter and Facebook Page. • Internet Survey • 1829 respondents from 12 Russell group universities at June- July 2013
    6. 6. Summary of demographic characteristics (N=1829) Variables N % N % Gender female 836 46% Discipline medical, biological & human sciences 635 35% male 977 54% Areas natural science & engineering 415 23% other 6 0% business, law & social sciences 490 27% Total 1819 100% humanities & cultural studies 279 15% Total 1819 100% Age group under 25 72 4% 25-35 561 31% Grade professor 313 17% 35-44 475 26% reader 101 6% 45-54 390 21% senior lecturer 232 13% 55-64 233 13% senior researcher 50 3% 65 and over 89 5% lecturer 342 19% Total 1820 100% research fellow/post-doc 318 17% phd candidate 260 14% Research 1-5 years 441 24% research assistant 72 4% Experience 6-10 years 399 22% Mphil/MSc/MA student 16 1% 11-20 years 476 26% other 117 6% over 21 years 481 26% Total 1821 100% N/A 32 2% Total 1829 100%
    7. 7. Frequency of gathering & sharing research information on blogs, Twitter, SNS & Wiki 8% 1% 2% 3% 4% 4% 3% 28% 1% 51% 20% 12% 11% 11% 16% 15% 44% 15% 39% 78% 84% 85% 84% 80% 81% 23% 84% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% read research blog comment on research blog post research updates on blog gather research info on Twitter post research updates on Twitter gather research info on SNS post research updates on SNS read a public wiki contribute to a public wiki always often sometimes never
    8. 8. Use of Twitter & Wiki by Discipline Areas Post updates on Twitter (p<0.01) Contribute to wiki (p<0.001) 88% 86% 79% 78% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% medical sciences natural science social sciences humanities always often sometimes never 87% 76% 87% 82% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% medical sciences natural science social sciences humanities
    9. 9. Use of Twitter & Wiki by Age • Post updates on Twitter (p<0.001) Contribute to wiki (p=0.493) 84% 82% 84% 87% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% under 35 35-44 45-54 55 and over 78% 79% 89% 96% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% under 35 35-44 45-54 55 and over always often sometimes never
    10. 10. Use of Twitter & Wiki by Gender • Post updates on Twitter (p<0.05) Contribute to wiki (p<0.001) 90% 79% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% female male 81% 86% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% female male always often sometimes never
    11. 11. Conclusion • The vast majority of respondents have not yet adopted social media tools to share their research work since contribution of scholarly work on social media has not been recognised by academic reward system. • However, the new digital technology has changed the way people seek information. The majority of respondents have had experiences gathering research information through public wikis and research blogs. • There was also an increase in the use of Twitter in research work in the past three years. The percentage of academics who reported using Twitter in their research work increased from 10% to 21% compared to Procter et al’s (2010) survey findings conducted in 2009. • Respondents in Humanities and Social Sciences were more likely to seek and share research information on social media than those in Sciences disciplines. However, respondents in Natural Sciences were more likely to read and contribute to public wikis in their research work than those in Medical Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities.
    12. 12. • Age disparities were confirmed in this study as respondents’ reported experiences with gathering and sharing research information decreased with age. • Women appeared to be more likely to adopt Twitter to share research updates as well as gather research information. On the other hand, men seemed to be more likely to contribute to public wikis in their research work. • However, these gender disparity patterns were not the same for those in different discipline areas or job grades. For example, gender disparities for adopting Twitter were only significant for those in Natural Sciences disciplines. For wiki contributors, the gender disparities were only significant for early to mid career researchers and respondents in Medical Sciences, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
    13. 13. • Users of Twitter and Social Networking Sites to gather research information were also likely to share research work on those platforms. • However, the majority of those who gathered information on blogs and wikis rarely contributed on these platforms and were merely observers of blogs and wikis. • Twitter and Social Networking sites such as Facebook and Academia.edu are more interactive and require users to register, create a profile, and to connect with others. While blogs and wikis are more straightforward without having to register or creating profiles in order to find useful resources.
    14. 14. Future plans • Further research would be carried out using logistic regression analysis to explore whether personal, social and technical factors influence the likelihood of using social media in research. • Independent variables: gender, age, job grades, Discipline areas, use of smart phone & tablet computer, SM training, institution encouragement, peer recommendation, attitudes towards the benefit and risks in using SM, use of SM for leisure.
    15. 15. • Reference • Procter, R., Williams, R., Stewart, J., Poschen, M., Snee, H., Voss, A. & Asgari-Targhi, M. (2010). Adoption and use of Web 2.0 in scholarly communications. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 368(1926).

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