Fostering research impact through social media

Since July 2014 I have worked at Middlesex University, which ranked as the best modern university in London for research power in the 2014 REF. At the Middlesex University Business School, I have a dedicated role in research mentoring and improving the research profile for the entire School by stimulating research and research output.

This is realised by one-on-one support and coaching, research lunches, informal paper development groups, writing bootcamps and publishing seminars. One of these seminars was expertly recorded by Simen Waage. The full 1.5 hour presentation can be viewed here. It discusses the four C’s of getting cited [competence, collaboration, care, and communication] before presenting an 8-step workflow on how to effectively disseminate your research.

Middlesex seminar

Recorded by Simen Waage

My presentation (full slides can be downloaded here and the full video can be seen here) also discussed the why's and why not's of using social media professionally and the practicalities of engaging with social media to build your academic brand.  I covered the main social media outlets that are relevant in academia:

  1. Google Scholar Profiles, not strictly speaking social media as there is limited scope for interaction beyond following an academic's updates, but it is an essential online CV, covering all your publications and their citations. Since version 5 and 6 Publish or Perish also allows searching Google Scholar Profiles, which instantly gives you all of PoP's handy metrics for your Google Scholar profile. For more detailed information about Google Scholar Profiles see: Google Scholar Citation Profiles: the good, the bad, and the better
  2. LinkedIn profile, very useful to present your basic CV online and connect with other academics (and non-academics!). You can also write up news stories and share resources with your followers. I find it a very useful venue to share my blogposts as it draws a slightly different audience than my Twitter account (which is followed more by academics in bibliometrics than by academics in my home discipline of International Management).
  3. ResearchGate, another online platform that allows you to list your publications (with full-text where possible) and define research projects. Just be careful to adjust your email alert settings so that you only receive those that are actually meaningful to you. As one of my co-authors said: "Researchgate's default settings alert you whenever someone in your networks farts".
  4. Twitter, a micro-blogging site. Initially I thought Twitter was utterly stupid only useful for celebrities and people concerned with each others' breakfasts, but I have found it a very useful means to keep up-to-date with academic news and share your own (and your colleagues') work and achievements. An unexpected benefit can be internal marketing, my Dean, Executive Dean and VC all follow me.
  5. Blogging. As you can see I have embraced this outlet with gusto, posting in the following ten categories: Academia Behind the Scenes, Academic Etiquette, Classic Papers, Conferences, CYGNA, From my Inbox, Positive Academia, Publish or Perish Tips, Research Focus, and That's Interesting.

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