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Pros and cons of social networking for scientists


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Over the past 4 years I have been using social networking tools for scientists more inspired by Antony Williams. I realized I am using many tools and there are pros and cons of them. Here is my brief summary.

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Pros and cons of social networking for scientists

  1. 1. Sean Ekins Collaborations In Chemistry, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526 Email: Twitter: Collabchem
  2. 2. Senior Consultant Since 2007 Chief Scientific Officer Since 2008 Chief Science Officer Since 2013 CEO, President, Co-Founder Since 2012 CEO, Founder Since 2015 Blogger Since 2011 Consulting ADME/Tox, drug discovery cheminformatics Grant PI, bringing in funding, neglected disease drug discovery research – use cheminformatics Facilitate science & SAB, write grants, collaborate Grant PI, rare disease- Sanfilippo Syndrome Write grants and collaborate on rare and neglected diseases, cheminformatics Blog about drug discovery
  3. 3.  I work on diverse projects (drug discovery, grant writing etc.)  Need to make people aware that I am here and gain visibility for work  Different networks (neglected disease, rare disease)  Different audience backgrounds (cheminformatics,patients, investors)  Different needs (customers for software vs customers for consulting, vs VCs for investment)
  4. 4.  Most of my links in one place
  5. 5.  A single webpage is a starting point
  6. 6.  Using software to help connect to others  Providing your science in a consumable assessible format  Using software / apps to assess use of your output  Downloads of papers, views, citations  What works and what does not in this space  Marketing vs Social marketing  Networking for connections
  7. 7.  Visibility  Cost  Global Reach  Openness  Enhanced or new collaborations  Career changing  Bottom line – people can find you and your work
  8. 8.  It’s a full time job  Once in – there is no reason for going back  Longevity / permanence of information  Law of unintended consequences  Frightening for the inexperienced  Bottom line – there are no free rides, you get out what you put in
  9. 9.  LinkedIn – my only tool for a long time  Then it all exploded with a paper  iPhone  Antony Williams  Alex Clark Williams et al DDT 16:928-939, 2011
  10. 10.  Links to Slideshare etc.  Use to post links to blogs, slides etc.
  11. 11.  Blog  Wiki’s  Mobile app development  Using a whole array of tools  Twitter  Slideshare  Figshare  Kudos  Pubmed Commons  F1000Research
  12. 12. App for rare and neglected diseases Share Data and molecules Inspiration: P4C2011 Scio2012 Instigation: PA Dragons Den 2012 Crowdfunding visibility Publications, posters, talks biotech Mol Informatics, 31: 585-597, 2012 ODDT
  13. 13.  I put all slides on here
  14. 14.  I put datasets and posters on here
  15. 15.  Occasional I put preprints on figshare as well  I now like to publish in F1000Research  Several more PLOS, BMC papers..  Fewer totally closed papers..  My profile is increasing I think..  More followers on Twitter  Increased citations
  16. 16.  Used to track and enrich papers
  17. 17.  Takes a lot of effort  Need to select papers  Add summary, links etc.
  18. 18.  Actions can impact views
  19. 19.  A way to comment on work in pubmed and enrich
  20. 20.  Collaborations started from tweets
  21. 21. And lead to this…
  22. 22. Michele Rhee MBA Connected on Twitter Helped us write paper GoTo meeting with colleagues managing collaborations funding science Introduct ion to a company We had already connected Intro to others gave me CV for a postdoc at Harvard
  23. 23.  Every company needs a person engaging, mining and connecting
  24. 24.  Highlight talks  Papers being published  Any interesting science from outside own network  Putting ideas out there  Try not to overload, keep tone professional,  How you would like to be treated.  Occasional analysis of how papers are used
  25. 25.  Do not have to do anything once set up  Useful to check ‘cites’ and do searches, no frills
  26. 26.  Highs.. When someone else blogs on our papers, journalist writes about work  When a rare disease parent finds you  When you start a new collaboration via Twitter  Lows.. When you get people stalking your science and writing really nasty things on blogs,Twitter etc.  Journalists that totally twist your words / waste time  When you realize that you still have >100 papers to summarize in Kudos  When you get introduced to a new tool and realize you have to repeat weeks of work that you have already done elsewhere
  27. 27.  Multiple levels of tools  1 – data sources = Slideshare, figshare, blogs, journals etc.  2 – compilers = Google Scholar, Research Gate, Academia, GrowKudos  3 – tools that provide scores of output= altmetric, Research Gate  There are too many tools you need to use – adds to stress  Select carefully – many duplicate / overlap in function  Unclear benefits of some tools – time wasting  LinkedIn may not be enough
  28. 28.  Poor design  Unclear whats in it for me  Spurious results
  29. 29.  Barely use it..a couple of times a year – provide reprint requests – get many annoying email alerts
  30. 30.  None of these people were my co-authors??
  31. 31.  I do not know these authors
  32. 32.  Do something:  If you are a new scientist starting out building your network and needing visibility  Because the sooner you start the easier maintenance will be  Do nothing:  If you are an older scientist, retired, with no time  If you really do not want to be visible  If you cannot face hours setting up, uploading papers, preprints, summarizing papers etc.
  33. 33.  Fame and wealth  Hard to determine if it helped with funding from NIH etc  Job offers  Having a webpage / CV alone definitely has lead to consulting jobs  More free time  I think maintaining all the tools suck up free time  More relaxed  I am probably less relaxed because I wonder what I am missing or need to improve  Still opportunities for new tools  Make it easier on the scientist, integrate more of the functions, show clear benefits of participating