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Research and Innovation Development Office
Category: Research news
16 February 2016
Social media is rapidly expanding in use, extending from seemingly banal pastime (ie 'liking' what Joe ate for breakfast this morning) into the realm of academia and research.
It may be difficult for some to take these tools seriously due to their trite roots, but in order to keep up with the current and future research landscape, it's time to get on board! Wouldn't you rather someone "like" your research findings than Instagrammed artisanal toast from the latest brunch food truck? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right?
Jesting aside, even significant funding bodies have begun to issue tips on better utilising social media tools, citing this as an important component of ensuring impact. For example, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) offers advice for building a presence on Twitter, generating interest and conversation via blog posts, and disseminating findings through podcasts. Further, fellow academics such as Times Higher Education guest author Pat Thomson have sung the praises of blogging, pointing out the platform's potential for improving your academic writing by allowing you to experiment with "voice" and practise an economical and approachable communication style.
If funders are promoting these tools and by extension all but endorsing them, and their utilisation can help you establish a research profile while also developing your ability to write better abstracts and publications, I have to ask, why not give it a shot? You'll at least be staying with - although not necessarily ahead of - the curve.
Feeling inspired to jumpstart your social media presence? In addition to the links above, check out the following tips and tools: