Are researchers using social media professionally? A comparative survey among fields, levels of career and universities

Author: Germana Barata – State University of Campinas, Brazil

Juan Pablo Alperin – Simon Fraser University
Ronaldo Araújo – Federal University of Alagoas
Crí­spulo Traviezo Rodrí­guez – University of Salamanca

Social media and digital tools have been increasingly used by researchers. The use of social media can bring a number of benefits to professionals such as visibility, public engagement, influence (community approval), communication speedy, sharing information, and being part of a social network, among others. On the other hand, society can benefit from this activity once researchers become more accessible, and contribute to make accurate information available online. Studies have indicated that researchers who establish frequent contact with the media tend to be more academically active and their presence in social media amplifies contact with experts and media, therefore it interferes positively in the academic impact of their work. Although others studies concluded that the activity in blogs or with the public has no relation with the impact of their research.Worldwide, the use scholars made of social media has been analysed, yet most of them have been conducted among social media users (as on Twitter and ResearchGate), among science bloggers or students. The survey aims to understand how professors and researchers of 4 universities in 3 countries use the social media and digital tools daily: the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL), both in Brazil; Simon Fraser University (SFU), in Canada; and University of Salamanca (USAL), in Spain. The results will help inform how social media can best be used to network, collaborate, discover, and communicate science among different universities, fields, and levels of career. The survey built online on FluidSurvey platform is composed by 30 questions, including respondent profile, taking around 15 minutes to be completed. It will collect data up to mid November 2017. We expect a response rate of 10% (around 736 participants).

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Science
Area of interest: Comparing science communication across cultures