Social media has increasingly become the way that we connect in our personal, educational and business lives. In the past, collaboration and networking occurred at conferences, the workplace and through colleagues. However, the growth of internet use since the 1990’s has changed the landscape of collaboration and allowed researchers to establish connections and collaborative partnerships in locations they have never visited.
Twitter in particular has been used to generate ideas, collaborate with peers, seek opinions from other experts, gather public opinion, keep up with new developments in the field, promote publications, improve research metrics and connect with government, the press and policymakers.
Creating a profile on either ResearchGate or Academia.edu is another way to connect with other researchers, find out what they are doing and establish professional relationships that might prove fruitful.
LinkedIn is used as a professional platform to showcase a user’s skills and work history, and can be regarded as an online resume. It does have some social media aspects with a discussion feed from people a user follows, along with suggested connections in a researcher’s field or institution.
Dr Jodie Rummer, a fish ecologist from James Cook University, recently gave an informative presentation on choosing useful social media platforms and safely creating a professional digital identity. She successfully uses various forms of social media, such as Twitter, to connect with other researchers, the public or government bodies, and to help her with her teaching.
If you would like to know more about the use of social media as part of your researcher profile, please book a consultation with your Discipline Librarian.