Researchers have long been encouraged to use Twitter. But does researchers’ presence on Twitter influence citations to their papers? José Luis Ortega explored to what extent the participation of scholars on Twitter can influence the tweeting of their articles and found that although the relationship between tweets and citations is poor, actively participating on Twitter is a powerful way […]
Continuing what is by now an established Impact Blog tradition, editor Kieran Booluck looks back at all that’s published over the last twelve months and shares a selection of the year’s top posts.
It’s been another record-breaking year at the Impact Blog! Last year was the first time we recorded in excess of one million pageviews in a single year, […]
One of nine country case studies due to be published as part of the UCL Press ‘Why We Post’ series, Social Media in an English Village offers the findings of an 18-month ethnographic study of the use of social media platforms by residents of an English village. Renowned anthropologist Daniel Miller argues that his subjects utilise a ‘Goldilocks Strategy’ to […]
Social media offers great opportunities for teaching. Wasim Ahmed and Sergej Lugovic have reviewed the literature on the use of Twitter in the classroom and have noted its benefits to both students and teachers. Not only can it increase participation and engagement, particularly among more introverted students, but it can also be used to bring new, popular resources into […]
Twitter is under close scrutiny these days with news that its timeline could be subject to further algorithmic control. Farida Vis looks at what such dramatic changes could mean for research. There is a great need for both funding councils and researchers to better understand the potential impact of these data and platform politics. Strategies must be developed to encourage lesser reliance […]
Q+A with Bonnie Stewart: “We are part of a society and an academy where the personal/professional divide is blurring”
LSE’s NetworkED seminar series for 2016 kick starts this Wednesday (20 January) with Bonnie Stewart. Here she provides a brief look into her research on scholarly identities and how relatively open social spaces like Twitter can be used by scholars for immersive professional development. But, she notes, this space is not without risks. The session will be streamed live and can […]
Online activism is a frequently debated topic amongst journalists and researchers alike. What effect can a popular Twitter hashtag really have in achieving political or social change? Wasim Ahmed looks in depth at last year’s heavily tweeted #ThisIsACoup hashtag. While concrete outcomes may still be indeterminate, it is clear social media is now a rich space for activism, expressions of solidarity […]
Vine is a Twitter app which allows short, looping videos to be created quickly and easily. There are a number of reasons for making videos and sharing. Antony Groves describes how the University of Sussex Library use Vine for teaching basic skills, promoting events, and advertising opening hours. Here he also provides a helpful five-step guide to creating and sharing […]
Planning your online engagement strategy? Don’t go it alone. Well-chosen partnerships can maximise reach and impact.
What are the conditions needed to create real engagement via social media? Heather Doran shares three case studies of successful public engagement. All three examples highlight that building an engaged audience doesn’t happen overnight and requires flexibility, training and a targeted communications strategy. True public engagement with research should be a two-way street.
The use of social media by researchers […]
Kate Wing breaks down the criteria used for Science magazine’s list of Top Scientists on Twitter and finds the approach severely lacking. With a range of tools available for measuring social media impact, simplistic measures like follower number as a proxy of influence is outdated. But for all the flaws in Science’s approach, they have opened up a conversation about what should […]
Publicly available data from Twitter is public evidence and does not necessarily constitute an “ethical dilemma”.
An article in Scientific American suggests further ethical considerations should be made for research derived from Twitter data. Ernesto Priego questions first the extent to which Twitter will actually release all of its valuable data and also argues archiving and disseminating information from Twitter and other public archives does not have to be cause for an “ethical dilemma” so long […]
In a recent study, Haustein and colleagues found a weak correlation between the number of times a paper is tweeted about and subsequent citations. But the study also found papers from 2012 were tweeted about ten times more than papers from 2010. Emily Darling discusses the results and finds that while altmetrics may do a poor job at predicting the traditional […]
With all the demands of academia, becoming an active curator on Twitter may sound appealing but just too onerous a task. To help ease such anxiety, Allan Johnson shares his own Twitter workflow and suggests several tools and apps, such as Pocket and Buffer, to help academics make the most of their valuable time in contributing and curating content. The job of the humanities academic has always been […]
Salma Patel has been on a whistle-stop tour of academic social media channels. Here she shares her simple, practical tips for academics who want to start engaging with the wider world through social media. Question: I’m an academic and desperately need an online presence because I want to start engaging with the public and disseminate my research online – where do I […]
‘Good uni: Quality nightlife’. How harvesting tweets opens up a new world of valuable qualitative data
The qualitative data that is freely available on social media platforms has huge potential. Drawing on his research into what Twitter can tell us about the popularity of universities, Geraint Johnes writes that Twitter and Facebook messages could be the key to valuable data. The quantity of qualitative data generated by social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is […]
If you don’t have social media, you are no one: How social media enriches conferences for some but risks isolating others
13,000 tweets, 430 photos and over 2,000 video views later, Dr Lisa Harris and Nicole Beale have plenty of data to investigate how social networking can change the conversation at an academic conference. Here, they report that while social media opens a new dimension to academic discussion, there are still challenges that must be addressed with its use. The impact […]
Earlier this year, the National Centre for Research Methods released a research paper to waves of interest from academics and researchers alike on Twitter. Kaisa Puustinen and Rosalind Edwards watched the number of downloads rise rapidly as the paper was passed around through the social media channel. Students, early career researchers and established academics may all ponder about how many […]
Eager to find out what impact blogging and social media could have on the dissemination of her work, Melissa Terras took all of her academic research, including papers that have been available online for years, to the web and found that her audience responded with a huge leap in interest in her work. In October 2011 I began a […]
Think tanks are neglecting cheap and easy social media, and failing to reach out to broader audiences for their work
Platforms such as Twitter, which offer a timely and low-cost medium to disseminate ideas are disrupting conventional approaches to public communication, but are think tanks really taking advantage of these new modes of communications? Research suggests not, write Dr Michael Harris and Chris Sherwood. A few weeks ago we did a quick bit of research on which UK think tanks had […]