Friday, 15 April 2016

From Clicks to Cites - Social Media for Social Scientists

Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall
Earlier this week Andy Tattersall was asked to be part of a panel discussion within the Faculty of Social Sciences and the launch of their Northern Exposure events. Northern Exposure is a new series of events, aimed at helping social scientists maximise the reach and accessibility of their research. It is coordinated by the Social Sciences Partnerships, Impact and Knowledge Exchange (SSPIKE) team and Communications team in the Faculty of Social Sciences. 

The event was opened by Professor Gill Valentine, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Social Science. Whilst the keynote was a very interesting talk by Mark Carrigan, author of an apt new book, 'Social Media for Academics'. Mark talked about the potential for social media for academics whilst chalked the latest daily statistics for Google Search, Tumblr posts and Tweets sent just to name but a few. 
Social Media for Academics
Mark Carrigan's book

Following that was an interesting panel discussion around the topic of the 'The academic blogosphere' that was chaired by Sarah Boswell, Marketing and Communications Manager, Faculty of Social Sciences. The panel included Laura Hood - Politics and Society Editor; The Conversation UK, Andy Tattersall - Information Resources; ScHARR, University of Sheffield, Sierra Williams - Managing Editor; LSE Impact blog and James Wilsdon - Director of Impact and Engagement; Social Sciences, University of Sheffield.

The event looked at the the value social media can contribute to shaping academic research and how it could be used as a resource to disseminate findings. How academics can use social media as a way of encouraging meaningful discussion. How social media can be used to build a prominent research profile, access relevant information and build important stakeholder networks. How to begin overcoming the barriers to engaging with social media in research. 

Panel debate at Northern Exposure
Panel debate at #NthExpo
Various questions were raised as to overcoming the barriers to using social media in academia, dealing with negative comments and trolls, where should support come for academics using social media.
After the panel discussion, delegates were split into four groups and worked with panel members to discuss some of the challenges facing them and the use of social media. It was a worthwhile and interesting event and hopefully springboard on to other events in the Faculty and further afield. Tweets from the day can be seen by following the #NthExpo hashtag

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