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Publishing in an age of social media


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Slides for a workshop I did with Sara Barker in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge in July 2018.

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Publishing in an age of social media

  2. 2. BEYOND JOURNALS, EDITED BOOKS AND MONOGRAPHS OTHER PLATFORMS FOR PUBLISHING • The growing acceptance of social media within the academy • The three challenges of social media for academics: how much time do you have, who are your audience and how to take advantage without being overwhelmed? • Using social media to make your work public: work in progress and/or finished work. Each has different risks and advantages.
  3. 3. SO WHO ARE YOUR PUBLIC? PUBLISHING AS ‘MAKING PUBLIC’ • Who are your audience? (Your field, your discipline, practitioners, policy makers, activists?) • Social media as a way of building connections with them. What social media do they use and how will you connect with them? • What can you share with them that will be of interest to them? What are you reading, thinking about, struggling with or accomplishing for your research? Takes time and energy but lays the groundwork • Established blogs provide an audience which you can access as part of a quid pro quo: which blogs do you read? Do they accept contributions? • What are you trying to say? Who are you trying to say it to? Why are you publishing?
  4. 4. SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS IN HIGHER EDUCATION • What social media platforms do you use? What do other academics you know use? • Different platforms can be used to produce the same kind of output e.g. videos on YouTube or Vimeo, pinboards on Pinterest or Padlet. • Therefore we focus on outputs. How to link up ‘old’ and ‘new’? 1. Announcing your publications through social media 2. Summarising your publications through social media 3. Contextualising your publications through social media 4. Constituting your publications through social media • Not enough time to focus on each platform but if you’re clear about what you’re doing and why, it will be easier to get to grips with platforms.
  5. 5. (AND HOW WILL YOU LINK IT ALL TOGETHER) SO WHAT IS IT YOU’RE GOING TO PUBLISH? Traditional Output Emerging Output Chapter Tweet Essay Blog Post Review Podcast Paper Videocast Book Graphic Other Pin board In pairs: • Take one card each and discuss a potential output of that type from your current research • Repeat the process until you have at 5 output ideas each • Can you arrange them into a timeline? E.g. I’ll tweet about research looking at measurement of social media impact, write up a blog post to produce provisional findings, include this as a topic in the book I’m writing and then focus on it in a podcast which will help the book. Will you share your imagined timeline?
  6. 6. WHO ARE YOU AS A RESEARCHER? • Academic CV and publications list as a form of writing about the self • Social media platform profiles come with their own restrictions • What can you communicate through social media profiles? What do you want to communicate? Can anyone suggest examples to look at? • Have you checked your digital footprint? What story might others tell about you? Crucial for media, practitioners, policy makers etc • Why does your research matter to you? How do you tell a story about this? Social media rewards authenticity
  7. 7. KEY QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT • How much time and energy can you put into social media? • How much of your research are you comfortable sharing before it is published? • Who is the audience for what you are sharing? How will you ensure they are interested? • What risks do you perceive in sharing in this way? Do you need to take steps to mitigate them?