So what’s Twitter got to do with a researcher’s work receiving citations? According to a paper from the University Health Network in Canada, “highly tweeted articles were 11 times more likely to be highly cited than less-tweeted articles.” If you are a researcher interested in “getting your research out there,” as well as setting up a Twitter account and a Facebook page, there are some things you might want to do.
Attend an event to learn more
Be on the lookout for media and social media events for academics…..
The Brisbane-based Translational Research Institute recently held an event “Researchers Guide To The Media.” The event aimed to help researchers to increase their profile within the scientific community, promote thoughtful discussion about their work and explore opportunities for collaboration and community interest.
The three speakers on the day were:
- Drew Berry – Biomedical animator at the Walter and Eliza hall Institute of Medical Research – discussed the benefits of using visual media to communicate research and engage with stakeholders
- Mel Kettle – Social media and marketing consultant – discussed the benefits of using social media
- Liz Minchin – Senior Editor at The Conversation – discussed the value of translating a researcher’s expert knowledge for a broader audience and how to pitch stories to The Conversation and other media
Join the community by creating a Facebook Page or a Twitter account
When I first started My Health Career, I thought that social media was all about what certain celebrities were eating for breakfast. However, upon creating a Twitter account, I quickly found many organisations in the health industry that would post interesting information. Twitter was a vital link to get to know which organisations I would need to connect with to reach my audience. I have since collaborated on some offline projects with a number of organisations with common goals who have contacted me, and I have approached many guest bloggers via Twitter.
Start a blog
Well known journal publisher Wiley has published an article by its marketing coordinator Helen Eassom about why researchers and authors should create and write a blog. Helen suggests that there are many reasons to have a blog, including the fact that blogs are more widely read than academic journals and text books, and that it aids in discoverability of your work as it may be shared via social media. She also points out that you have the opportunity to become part of a larger network of bloggers with whom you can share thoughts, ideas and cutting edge debates in your area of interest.
Helen’s suggestions for how to write a blog and promote your work involve:
- Finding your voice – that is, finding your own style of writing
- Define your audience – who are you aiming your blog at – is it other academics, the wider community or school children?
- Use social media – a Facebook post or a Tweet will let people know you’ve posted something new
- Read other blogs – get involved by posting comments and networking with fellow bloggers in your field of expertise
- Include keywords – this will help your blog to be visible via search engines such as Google
- Guest blog – writing posts for more well-known blogs can be a good way to get your own blog going as it will help create a name for yourself
Back to anecdotes….
Again, anecdotally, I have noticed that the people who have blogs don’t necessarily have anything more important to say that anyone else in a given profession or field of research. It’s the fact that they are out there “saying it” that gives them the aura of being a leader, thereby raising their standing in their community.
Amanda – Founder My Health Career.