socialmedia for research communication. We define socialmedia as those internet-based tools and platforms that allow individuals to create content, some of which also facilitate conversations and networking between individuals. Socialmedia offer the potential of many-to-many communication, though in practice we also see both few-to-many (for example high-profile Twitter or YouTube accounts that have many followers) and few-to-few (for example, some LinkedIn Groups have only a few hundred members, but many of these members post regularly and comment on each other
Considering how to communicate your research or engage others with the latest science, social science or humanities research? This book explores new and emerging approaches to engaging people with research, placing these in the wider context of research communication. Split into three sections, Creative Research Communication explores the historical routes and current drivers for public engagement, before moving on to explore practical approaches and finally discussing ethical issues and the ways in which research communication can contribute to research impact. Starting from the premise that researchers can and ought to participate in the public sphere, this book provides practical guidance and advice on contributing to political discourse and policymaking, as well as engaging the public where they are (whether that is at the theatre, at a music festival or on social media). By considering the plurality of publics and their diverse needs and interests, it is quite possible to find a communications niche that neither offers up bite-sized chunks of research, nor conceptualises the public as lacking the capacity to consider the myriad of issues raised by research, but explains and considers thoughtfully the value of research endeavours and their potential benefits to society. It’s time for researchers to move away from one-size fits all, and embrace opportunities for creative approaches to research communication. This book argues for a move away from metrics and tick box approaches and towards approaches that work for you, as an individual researcher, in the context of your own discipline and interests.
summarised for the public in 140 characters or less, though academics might use Twitter to promote more substantial blog contributions. Digital and socialmedia have had an impact on researchers’ professional practices in a broad variety of ways, from access to the latest literature, to research collaborations across continents and changes in how data can be accessed or manipulated, as well as the introduction of new research methods. The sheer proliferation of available information is perhaps the most obvious ramification for researchers’ professional communication; for
Include details of the methods and tools used to collect data. If possible, include the original tools (e.g. questionnaires) in an appendix.
If you aren’t able to submit your report to one of these types of site, then do consider how you can highlight its existence through other means, which might include lodging it on a project website. Once you have made your report available, talk about it on relevant socialmedia and consider how your digital profile might link to it. You might also send out invitations to look at it to relevant individuals
that may not have existed before, for instance by tweeting a journalist, submitting their photographs or videos to a news channel or directly contacting a researcher through their socialmedia presence.
Significantly, in some settings it may then be more appropriate to refer to someone as a participant than as an audience member. This is particularly the case in the context of certain public engagement approaches where people may go beyond listening to or seeking out some form of communication activity, to additionally being directly involved in contributing
help you think about the tools you might use to engage audiences with your research (and the tools you might personally prefer to avoid). It is primarily about communication and engagement rather than participation, which is covered in Chapters 8 and 9 . The decision on what to include in this chapter, and what to leave to the socialmedia chapter, is, to an extent, arbitrary and there is inevitably some overlap between the chapters. There are also many digital projects and approaches which we simply did not have the space to cover; in the world of Web 2.0 your
notebooks to doors,
walls and physical
digital graffiti, for
instance around a
, Steven Pinker, claims that ‘more than ever before, the currency of our social and cultural lives is the written word’ (Pinker, 2014 : 8). It is often claimed in sociological circles that, in the West, we live in a communication or media culture due to a proliferation in recent decades of communication technologies and socialmedia. Whatever the effects may be on the way we read and write, it is highly likely that reading critically and writing clearly will be at least as valuable in twenty years’ time as they are now, if not more. Developing methods of learning to
with a more nuanced and less one-sided conclusion. Questions in sociology commonly expect you to engage in a critical reading of the literature, to weigh up one position against another and to look for evidence to support these positions. This can often lead to a quite complicated outcome, where some parts of the essay support one position, theory or interpretation, whereas other parts support another. For example, in the conclusion quoted below the student has sought to answer the question ‘Does socialmedia empower the individual?’, but has found that his critical
damaging to participants if their identity was obvious or revealed, and this could even result in legal harm for you or for those with whom you are working. Thus it is important not to be dismissive of the potential ramifications of activities and to think realistically about any potential harm that might arise.
Sometimes we might be involved in an activity where there are potential ethical risks; for instance, you may be a researcher with an interest in teen eating disorders who plans to use socialmedia to engage around a particular activity. It’s likely that