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Undergraduate and Graduate Student Use of Social Media Infographic


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Social media is such an intrinsic part of the way students interact, it is natural that academic libraries would consider making services available through these communication channels. For the benefit of academic libraries, ProQuest commissioned a study by Hanover Research to gauge the current and potential uses of social media for academic research. We present the findings here, along with some top-line recommendations to assist libraries in executing an effective social media strategy.

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Use of Social Media Infographic

  1. 1. ENGAGING STUDENTS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA 98% 98% 42% 51% 40% 18% 31% 22% 7% 15% 1% 0% AVERAGE DAILY VISITS SOCIAL MEDIA SITES TO Graduate 8% <1 1-3 27% 21% 7-9 14% 10-12 10% 4-6 29% 6% underGraduate 29% 10% 13 + 13% 13% 21% LIKELIHOOD TO USE 45 34 33 SOCIAL MEDIA FOR 39 26 10 8 POSE A QUESTION TO PEERS UNDERGRADUATE GRADUATE RESEARCH OR ACCESS CONTENT VIA AN APP 14 1 -7 CREATE AND ORGANIZE RESEARCH POSE A POSE A QUESTION TO RESEARCH QUESTION YOUR FACULTY TO YOUR /INSTRUCTORS LIBRARIANS USE SHARE CONNECT W/ RESEARCH COLLABORATE OTHER STUDENTS RESEARCH IN A W/ ACADEMIC INFORMATION RECOMMENDED BY PEERS W/ PEERS WORKSPACE INTERESTS -33 VICES RY SER BRA I IAL MEDIA IN L UGH SOC ST RO TE ABILITY TO ASK RE D TH GRADUA QUESTIONS OF TE RE TE LIBRARIANS IN IN VE DUA REAL TIME I GRA EL DER 44.8 37.9 D N 27.1 U 23.4 -47 TUTORIALS & RESEARCH INSTRUCTION -65 21.2 11.0% NEED TRAINING IN USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR RESEARCH PREFER OTHER PLATFORMS FOR ONLINE RESEARCH ASSOCIATE SOCIAL MEDIA W/ LEISURE -71 NET LIKLIHOOD SCORE 30.7% 54.8% -62 40.4 21.2 37.3 LITERATURE RECCOMENDATIONS FOR DIFFERENT TOPICS ABILITY TO SHARE FILES OR CITATIONS -48 COMMUNITIES FOR SPECIFIC AREAS OF RESEARCH/STUDY 24.2 40.4 -51 -53 4.7% OTHER REASONS WHY STUDENTS DO NOT USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR RESEARCH AND STUDY 61.6% PREFER FINDING INFORMATION ELSEWHERE 52.6% 6.8% 26.8% QUESTION INFORMATION/ DATA QUALITY PREFER NOT TO COLLABORATE W/ OTHER STUDENTS PREFER OTHER PLATFORMS FOR COMMUNICATING ONLY 1 OUT OF EVERY 20 STUDENTS HAS RECIEVED SOCIAL MEDIA TRAINING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LIBRARIES Consider establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter, if you have not already. Post regular library-related updates (changes to library hours, new resources, events and other “news”). Set up LinkedIn groups, specific to academic disciplines, for access by graduate students in particular; secondarily, establish a page on Google+ and create groups specific to academic disciplines. “Friend” or “Like” prominent individuals and academic/student organizations, encourage them to share library posts with their networks. Create community pages or sites for specific academic disciplines, hosted by the library. Provide online tools for organizing research, managing citations, sharing and collaboration, such as RefWorks. Academic libraries considering social media should evaluate potential services in three distinct areas: Contacting and communicating with classmates, other students with similar academic interests, and with faculty and librarians. Collaborating with others by using sites to organize and share research. Expand information-literacy instruction to include using social media for research. For example, teach students about the social media features of online databases and research tools such as RefWorks; show students how to contact librarians through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Collecting data for research; that is, using content in social media sites as an authoritative information source. Teach students how to connect with researchers in their discipline through social media, such as, how to participate in a Twitter chat. Introduce and inform graduate students about other sites with discipline-specific communities such as, Quora and the editing side of Wikipedia. Consider including tools such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and school services such as an intranet or Blackboard/Moodle in information-literacy efforts. 54% UNDERGRADUATE 46% GRADUATE CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES ABOUT PROQUEST® ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, ProQuest includes Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, Serials Solutions® businesses and the RefWorks®, Pivot™ and Summon® services.