This guide will show you how social media offer researchers an opportunity to improve the way they work. One of the most important things that researchers do is to find, use and disseminate information, and social media offer a range of tools which can facilitate these activities. The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes, rather than the many other uses that they are put to across society.
This guide will show how social media can change the ways in which you undertake research, and open up new forms of communication and dissemination. The researchers we interviewed in the development of this guide are using social media to bridge disciplinary boundaries, to engage in knowledge exchange with industry and policy makers, and to provide a channel for the public communication of their research.
The guide is rooted in the practical experience of its authors and of the ten social media users we interviewed as part of the project. We are not trying to present social media as the answer to every problem a researcher might experience; rather, we want to give a ‘warts and all’ picture. Social media have downsides as well as upsides, but on balance we hope that you will agree with us that there is real value for researchers.