Improve your Research Profile (8): Tips for time poor academics
The eight in an 8-part series on improving your research profile, reputation & impact. Evidences the positive effect of social media use, with tips for social media newbies.
This presentation is part of an 8-part series that I created in my role as Staff Development Lead at Middlesex University (see: Supportive, inclusive & collaborative research cultures). The series is comprised of three key parts:
- Introduction: Session 1 (why are research profiles so important?), Session 2 (what is impact and why should you care?)
- Metrics & citation impact: Session 3 (crash course data sources and metrics), Session 4 (citation analysis with Publish or Perish), Session 5 (how to get cited, ethically!).
- Social media: Session 6 (why and how of social media), Session 7 (7 steps to improved reputation and impact), Session 8 (tips for time poor academics).
I have never cited a paper because I saw a tweet about it...
Many academics are sceptical about using social media as they don't think it will make a difference. But just because you don't use social media to stay current with your field of research doesn't mean other academics don't. In general, research on this topic finds that the more you engage with social media the more your work is read. Even if you reach only a dozen more people that really need to know about the research, it is worth it. And as I said before, this is not all about getting cited, it's about reaching the right audience.
If you are still not convinced, the presentation provides you with two clear examples of my own work that are as close as we can get to controlled experiments. The second example (reproduced above) compares the number of reads for six articles published online in the same journal around the same time. My own article, that is available in Open Access and was shared widely on social media has an access count of more than 600, three times as much as the articles that had either OA or social media sharing and nearly ten times as much as those that had neither.
No time? What to do?
Now what if you feel you really can’t spare any of this? Here I suggest a 2-year plan in which you only spend 1-2 hours a month. Obviously, this is just a suggestion, it is not a straight-jacket. Modify it to serve your own preferences and situation.
After following the steps suggested above for two years you will be very comfortable with interacting on three key platforms. If that’s sufficient for you, feel free to stop there. But if you are starting to like using social media to build your research reputation, the presentation takes you through a few other options. Watch the presentation to find out more.
Take a break...
Remember none of this is a once and for ever choice. Feel free to take a break from social media for a few weeks or a few months if your work is really busy or you just want to hide in your own little world for a while. We all have periods like that. Nothing is compulsory.
Your social media engagement should be meaningful to you, don’t engage in mindless scrolling or frantic exchanges as it won’t do your mental health any good. Even more so than when using social media privately, when using it professionally it should really be purposeful. Make it work for you, don’t let yourself be driven by the platforms.
Other posts in this series
- Improve your Research Profile (1): Why is it so important?
- Improve your Research Profile (2): What is impact and why should you care?
- Improve your Research Profile (3): Getting savvy about data sources & metrics
- Improve your Research Profile (4): Citation analysis in the PoP software
- Improve your Research Profile (5): The 4Cs of getting cited
- Improve your Research Profile (6): The why and how of Social Media
- Improve your Research Profile (7): Follow the 7 steps for impact
- Improve your Research Profile (8): Tips for time poor academics
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Copyright © 2023 Anne-Wil Harzing. All rights reserved. Page last modified on Wed 19 Apr 2023 07:38
Anne-Wil Harzing is Professor of International Management at Middlesex University, London and visiting professor of International Management at Tilburg University. She is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, a select group of distinguished AIB members who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the scholarly development of the field of international business. In addition to her academic duties, she also maintains the Journal Quality List and is the driving force behind the popular Publish or Perish software program.