Pecha Kucha (20x20) presentation for PrISM (Professional Interest in Social Media) Group at UT Health Science Center San Antonio, 2011-04-27. Topic of presentation: effective use of social media by CTSA researchers & institutions.
We’re going to switch gears & look at the research side of the house now, with a quick look at researchers & institutions who have received NIH funding under the CTSA program, the Clinical & Translational Science Awards.
The CTSA is a program of large NIH grants awarded to institutions to promote “translational science,” which we’ll define in just a moment. The awards are for a five-year work period, are renewable, and have ranged from $20 million to over $100 million for the 5-year period – so these are very significant grants.
The purpose of the grants is to promote better integration between researchers, clinicians, patients, and larger populations. The idea is to try to move innovative discoveries quickly from the lab to actual clinical trials and eventual treatments, and to better involve the community in receiving the benefits of medical research as well as identifying the problems that most need research efforts.
Some of the CTSA awardees are single institutions, and some are collaborations. Each awardee has formed an “institute” to serve as “home” for CTSA activities, which may include efforts to form & promote available services, develop new resources, provide opportunities for training, collaboration & networking, offer internal subgrants, and engage better with the community.
There are a lot of ways that CTSA institutes use social media to support their missions. Institutes need to raise awareness and gather input regarding the services and resources researchers need at their institutions. They want to promote collaboration both within their institution and with other researchers elsewhere. They want to involve their communities in research priorities and clinical trials, and they want to promote the behavior and policy changes that can result in widespread health improvement.
So let’s look at some specific examples -- first, a couple of Facebook pages. One institute using its Facebook page very well is Michigan’s Institute for Clinical & Health Research. Their page seems to be mostly oriented toward the University and research communities, with announcements about resources, events, and internal funding opportunities they are offering. They also promote discoveries made by their researchers and scientists, including links to press coverage of their research and its benefits.
Notice the way they are optimizing their posts for the Facebook platform -- mixing up the media, including photos, videos, and links to external articles as well as their own text. You can see they do get some interaction with followers and currently have nearly 100 “likes”.
Next we have a community-facing Facebook page from Oregon Health & Science University’s “Let’s Get Healthy” traveling exhibit. OHSU takes this popular interactive exhibit to area health fairs as part of their community outreach effort, to promote community participation in clinical trials, and the creation and use of health datasets available for community organizations and schools.
Their Facebook page features updates about their traveling schedule, uses of their community health data by schools, links to information and video from community events, and more.
Now switching from Facebook to Twitter, we’ll look at a couple more institutes who are tweeting effectively about their work. First we have Northwestern University’s institute, NUCATS, which has a fairly active Twitter stream and 171 followers. Their stream is a good mix of original Tweets pointing at items on their own website, as well as retweets of useful information from other sources on their campus and beyond.
As you can see from the examples in this screenshot, they post information about the practical applications of discoveries made by their scientists, they discuss resources and funding they make available to researchers, and even items of broader interest about health research issues.
Likewise, Ohio State’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science mixes up original tweets and retweets, promoting events, clinical trial participation, and press coverage of research success stories.
Also, as you can see in these tweets, they use the urgent and real-time nature of Twitter to promote events as they are happening, both on campus and on the web. In addition, notice their consistent use of hashtags to make sure their tweets are seen by people who use hashtags to search for or follow particular topics on Twitter.
Another social medium that Ohio State’s CCTS is using very well is their YouTube channel. Their channel currently has 12 videos, with excellent production features and ranging from about 90 seconds to 9 minutes. Several videos are designed to highlight the personal and community value of participation in research and clinical trials, using personal stories from people who have benefited from research outcomes.
Other videos on CCTS’s YouTube channel highlight advanced equipment or resources available to researchers, feature innovative research partnerships with the community, and even include training-type videos about research ethics.
Scripps Research Institute takes a different approach with its YouTube channel. Its videos feature researchers, faculty, administrators and staff of the Institute describing their own work and what it means.
The Scripps videos are extremely simple -- just a person talking to the camera -- but they really help to put human faces, voices and stories to important work that might otherwise be very hidden or impersonal for many people. Scripps includes links to the personal profiles of their faculty and staff that appear on their website.
I want to close by recommending a couple more CTSA-related sources that are well worth following. UCSF’s institute includes a team dedicated to creating a “virtual home” for their researchers, and that team produces a fantastic blog called “Biomedical Research 2.0” which is full of lots of great ideas about using social media effectively to support the research enterprise.
Finally, the National Center for Research Resources -- the arm of the NIH that oversees the CTSA program and funding -- itself has a very active Twitter stream and Facebook page, where they focus on featuring the great real-life benefits of the research they have funded. They also have a YouTube channel which appears to be just getting started.
I hope this whirlwind tour has given you some useful deas, and I’d love to take questions or discuss ideas further with you. Here are the addresses for the CTSA consortium online as well as our own CTSA institute at the Health Science Center, and here’s how you can get ahold of me.
CTSA Social Media Highlights
CTSA Social MediaHighlights<br />Luke Rosenberger @lukelibrarian<br />PrISMMeetup 2011-04-27<br />
Learn more<br />CTSA Consortium:http://www.ctsaweb.org<br />IIMS at UT Health ScienceCenter (our local CTSA institute)http://iims.uthscsa.edu<br />Contact firstname.lastname@example.org://twitter.com/lukelibrarian<br />This slideshow is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/<br />Background image adapted from “The Conversation Prism” by Brian Solis & JESS3http://theconversationprism.com<br />@lukelibrarian<br />