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Keeping Your Research Current: Social media

A guide to tools and services that help you stay up to date with research in your area.

Research on social media and the open web

 

Many academic researchers or research groups use social media to alert their colleagues to  research developments; or share information using scholarly communities on the web. These sites can be a valuable way of keeping up to date. Twitter, blogs, email lists or discussion groups and online scholarly communities are some of the ways in which you can keep up to date.

The London School of Economics' Impact of Social Sciences blog is an example of a group using twitter to alert 'followers' to new blog content and to promote discussion.

The group has also produced a useful introduction for academics entitled Using Twitter in university research, teaching and impact activities: A guide for academics and researchers

Using Twitter

Twitter is a microblogging service that is optimised for mobile devices, and is great for learning about and sharing research. You can:

  • Follow key researchers or research groups in your subject area who use Twitter to alert followers to new posts in an academic blog or new articles or  breaking news.
  • Reply to journalists or scholars in your field and 're-post' links to articles through your own account to pass them on to people who 'follow' you.
  • Alert your followers to your research interests and exchange ideas and information.

To learn more about how Twitter works checkout Getting Started with Twitter.

Anatomy of a tweet

Using blogs

 

You can subscribe to blogs that have been created by indiviuals or groups who 'post' items for information or discussion. Research groups, individual researchers, media outlets  and professional orgnaisations are some possible 'bloggers'. Readers who subscribe to a blog can post their responses.  

 

Networks or communities of scholars

Networks or Communities of Scholars can be broad and global in scale, such as Arxiv or SSRN, or more nationally or locally focused, such as the  Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation (CEMI). These communities can be hosted and operate on web sites, blogs or email (discussion) lists.

Finding an online community of fellow researchers can be a valuable way of hearing about developments in your subject area and exchanging ideas. You can usually subscribe to these communities using RSS and many use Twitter to alert followers to new posts or articles. 

Tweeters

Can be indivduals, groups or organisations. Some examples are below... there are over 100 million active twitter accounts.

Research and researcher blogs

Some examples of research blogs in different disciplines...

Online research communities and discussion lists

Below are some examples of online communities or sites for finding the latest information on a topic. Your colleagues may suggest more in your research area.