Social Media for Researchers – Digital Literacies Conference

I am going to be talking at the Digital Literacies Conference on the 14th June. This Centre for Innovation in Technologies and Education (CITE) event is a chance for me to talk about one of my favourite topics: Social media & research.

Find the abstract below. I am only talking for ten minutes, but will also be promoting a workshop that I am running on the 4th July:

Managing your online social media profile as a researcher

Social media means many things to many people. For researchers, the potential for the tools and platforms now available on the web seems huge.  There are opportunities for promotion of research, creation of highly specialised support networks, management of resources, curriculum vitae improvement, publication, dissemination of work to the public, cross-pollination of work, re-use of data, project management, and new mechanisms for teaching, to name but a few! This ten minute talk with give a walk-through of a day in the life of a researcher, through the lens of the social web. The aim of this talk is to provide a way into social media for researchers, to suggest different ways to manage our social media profiles, and to lessen the tightening of the chest that we feel when someone mentions the word ‘Twitter’. 

You can register for the event at Eventbrite.

The 4th July workshop that I am planning was born out of Sarah Quinell and co’s amazing project NetworkedResearcher, which provided me with no end of support and inspiration when I began my PhD six months ago, and the resources created as part of the LSE’s Impact of Social Science’s blog

The idea is to combine a day of discussing social media as a tool for researchers, whilst using qualitative research methods, to create guidelines and personal experience videos for the use of social media for a variety of purposes.  These resources will be used to create a mini-website introducing (and then supporting) the adoption of social media for University of Southampton staff and students.

It’d be great if the webpages grow over time by crowdsourcing other student and staff experiences of social media, but those plans are way in the future at the moment!

Topics will include the use of social media for:

  • Publication
  • Outreach/Dissemination
  • Academic Profile
  • Research
  • Data Management
  • Networking

This is the description of the 4th July workshop (may be subject to slight changes):

Social media for researchers

This workshop aims to provide an introduction to social media as an essential part of every researcher’s toolkit.

With the increasing adoption of social media by university staff and students within an academic context, there is also an increasing need for advice on how to manage our online identities.  If you’ve been thinking about using social media as part of your research practice, or would like to use the web to participate in networks of researchers in your area of expertise, this is the workshop for you! This workshop is aimed at researchers who already use social media and would like to see how to join up all of those different platforms into one extended research profile.  

There are many social tools and platforms for planning and sharing data, aimed at researchers and students. This workshop will talk about those different possibilities for using social media as a researcher. We will begin with an overview of the current situation in universities, then spend some time looking at different tools and platforms, discussing different combinations to adopt, and providing honest frank advice about the importance of informed managment of our online self. Participants in this workshop will also be contributing to a project to produce a mini-website which will provide advice for researchers within our university who are using social media as part of their practice.

The workshop is not up on the Digital Literacies blog yet, so this is more of a heads-up that it will be happening. I’ll add a link to the event page to this blog once it goes online at

As always, any thoughts you have on these plans are happily received!


4 thoughts on “Social Media for Researchers – Digital Literacies Conference

  1. This is such a great presentation / project Nicole! As a studio artist I don’t do exactly your sort of “research” but certainly these platforms are enormously relevant.

    I’ve heard so many amazing stories of people using various social / new media in the classroom. Often I’ve tried to implement them with my students and had far less impressive results.

    One big theme I’ve found is simplicity. In a busy, distracted world, even techy / nerdy types won’t dive into too much detail at online platforms. I think this is a little like the Open Access publishing scenario: researchers could have placed materials in open access repositories for a while, but the percentage that went to the trouble to do something not a fundamental or required part of their research was small. When the NIH made it a requirement, not surprisingly, participation went way up.

    So I think tools that are a specific in-line part of research, tenure, etc, will be used, even robustly. But when it’s more in an interactive, sharing mode, use is still possible but level of ease seems to become critical.

    I wish I were able to attend your talk, but even though I’ll have to miss it, I look forward to hearing more and seeing how your project(s) develop.

    Good luck! 🙂

  2. Hi Nicole – this looks great – I’m really looking forward to this workshop. It could form the basis for some of the CIP Digital Literacy Module that runs next year for the first time (and will be a compulsory part of the new Web Science undergrad degree)

  3. Hi. I am very interested in the Digital Literacies Conference. I am a Sounthampton University Graduate but I live in Colombia (South America). Is there a chance the conference will webcasted?

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