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Kaleidoscope conference slides - Academic networking


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Jordan, K. (2013) Reshaping the Higher Education network? Analysis of academic social networking sites. Presentation given at the Kaleidoscope Conference, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 31st May 2013.

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Kaleidoscope conference slides - Academic networking

  1. 1. 14/06/2013Katy Jordan, The Open Conference31st May 2013Reshaping theHigher Educationnetwork?Analysis ofacademic socialnetworking sites
  2. 2. +Background• Stems from my previous experience in e-learningresearch in Higher Education• Research context: Digital scholarship and how theinternet is changing Higher Education(Weller, 2011; Nentwich & Konig, 2012)• Social networking sites (SNS) are so popular thatthey are synonymous with internet use for some(Rainie & Wellman, 2012)• First academic SNS in 2007, 3 years afterFacebook founded (Nentwich & Konig, 2012)
  3. 3. +Defining academic SNS“We define social networksites as web-based servicesthat allow individuals to (1)construct a public or semi-public profile within abounded system, (2)articulate a list of otherusers with whom they sharea connection, and (3) viewand traverse their list ofconnections and thosemade by others within thesystem.” (boyd &Ellison, 2007).05000001000000150000020000002500000NumberofusersWeb
  4. 4. +Affordances of academic SNS• Identity: Constructing an online academic profile– Almousa, 2011; Menendez, de Angeli &Menestrina, 2012• Communication: Discovery and dissemination ofresearch findings; asking and answering questions.– Veletsianos, 2011• Collaboration: Finding similar or differentcollaborators; supporting active researchrelationships.– Jeng et al., 2012; Oh & Jeng, 2011
  5. 5. +Initial research questions• What is the structure of academic socialnetworks?• To what extent do different academic socialnetworking sites foster similar networks?• Do factors such as discipline or position correlatewith behaviour in the network?
  6. 6. +Data collection• Pilot study focused upon Open Universityacademics• Mapped network of connections between OU-affiliated academics on three main academic SNS• Categorised according to position and discipline• Survey carried out on a sub-sample to exploreperceptions about role of academic SNS andfollow up on differences in network structurebased on position and discipline
  7. 7. +Visualizing the networks - disciplineMendeley
  8. 8. +Community structureHistorical & Philosophical StudiesEducationBiological SciencesSocial StudiesComputer ScienceBusiness & AdministrationCreative Arts & DesignMedicine relatedPhysical SciencesMathematicsLanguagesLawLinguistics, Classics & relatedEngineering
  9. 9. +Visualizing the networks - positionMendeley
  10. 10. +Visualizing the networks -
  11. 11. +Connection and position in thenetwork• Both degree and centrality showed significantdifferences according to position• More senior academics have a higher degreeand occupy a more central position in the network010203040DegreePosition = In degree☐ = out degree
  12. 12. +Survey resultsTheme Item Subject Position ActiveCommunication– posing andansweringquestionsBeing able to ask questions of the online community is importantAcademic SNS allow me to draw upon a wider community of expertisewhen I need helpCommunication– academicpublicationsAcademic SNS are a good way of promoting my own academic publicationsAcademic SNS are a good way of finding out about new publications ofinterestCollaboration –present andfutureAcademic SNS are a useful way to support working in collaboration withother researchersHaving a profile will enhance my future career prospectsIdentity – howacademics viewthe role ofprofilesBeing part of an academic SNS is usefulMy online academic and personal identities are separatedI see my profile as an online business cardI use my profile as a research journalI actively interact with others via the siteIdentity –exploringtrends innetworkstructureI only follow people who I know personallyIf someone follows me, I follow them backI follow people who I would like to work with in the futureI follow people as a way of staying in touch with people I used to work with
  13. 13. +Conclusions• Provided an insight into the network structurefostered by academic SNS• Similarities with social network structures in othercontexts• Subject area influential on community structure• Seniority influential on position and connectivityof individual nodes
  14. 14. +Limitations and future work• Three platforms but only one institution• Academic SNS are only one of many types ofsocial media and online platforms• Differences according to discipline and positionsuggest a role in academic identity development• Main study will focus not upon one platform, but asample of academics and their networked identityacross the variety of online channels they use
  15. 15. +Acknowledgements• Thanks to my supervisors, Professor Martin Wellerand Dr. Canan Blake.• This work was made possible through a doctoralstudentship from the Centre for Research inEducation and Educational Technology at the OpenUniversity, UK.• Special thanks to all of the Open Universitygraduate students and academics who took part inthe pilot study.
  16. 16. +References• Almousa, O. (2011) Users’ classification and usage-pattern identification in academicsocial networks. Proc. AEECT.• boyd, d.m. & Ellison, N.B. (2007) Social network sites: Definition, history and scholarship.Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 13, 1, article 1.• Jeng, W., He, D., Jiang, J. & Zhang, Y. (2012) Groups in Mendeley: Owners’ descriptionsand group outcomes. Proc. ASIST.• Menendez, M., de Angeli, A. & Menestrina, Z. (2012) Chapter 4: Exploring the virtualspace of academia. In: J. Dugdale et al. (eds.) From research to practice in the design ofcooperative systems. Springer.• Nentwich, M. & Konig, R.(2012) Cyberscience 2.0: Research in the age of digital socialnetworks. Campus Verlag.• Oh, J.S. & Jeng, W. (2011) Groups in academic social networking services: An explorationof their potential as a platform for multi-disciplinary collaboration. Proc. SocialCom.• Rainie, L. & Wellman, B. (2012) Networked: The new social operating system. Cambridge:MIT Press.• Veletsianos, G. (2011), Higher education scholars participation and practices on Twitter.Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 28(4), 336-349.• Weller, M. (2011) The Digital Scholar: How technology is transforming scholarly practice.London: Bloomsbury.