The Library

Research and PhD Support

Social media for research

The resources below can help you understand how to use social media tools in a variety of ways, from sharing your research, to following your interests, connecting with people in your sector, and finding researchers to collaborate with.‚Äč

Search for networks

Twitter's advanced search has lots of options to help you pinpoint what you're after.

Search discussion forums and messageboards.

Provides on-demand access to web data feeds anyone can consume

Introducing LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social networking site. There are over 300 million members worldwide with representatives from every sector from business to the arts.

Increasingly employees are looking at social media for information on prospective employees. If you don’t have a professional digital identity but you do have a social digital identity this can reflect poorly on you in contrast with peers who do. LinkedIn provides a safe, friendly, professional environment to allow you to promote your achievements, join communities including social and professional interest groups, and explore the job market.

LinkedIn works like an online CV, and allows you to:

  • Connect with people you might not otherwise be able to approach
  • Share your work outputs, presentations and research
  • Find people to collaborate with
  • Join groups of shared interest
  • Job hunt / be head-hunted
  • Ask questions and contribute to community forums
  • Engage professionally and globally
  • Get your skills endorsed

What you should do first:

  • Choose a professional image
  • Consider your audience when sharing on a professional service
  • Use keywords in your profile to improve discoverability
  • Keep your profile up to date
  • Show your best work, don’t just tell

How to network:

  • Research carefully before you make contact
  • Start by connecting with people you already know to build a network
  • Avoid mass emails
  • Be responsive – it is still social media!
  • Say thank you
  • See LinkedIn for students for even more advice: https://university.linkedin.com/linkedin-for-students
  • #Hashtags are used to make things easy to find online. Use them in posts on any platform so others can easily search and find you and your research. Search using Hashtags on any platform to explore content. Popular Hashtags for research include #phdchat #phd #phdforum #academia. See Hashtagify.me to search for popular Hashtags on any subject.

Adapted from: Cottrell, J. and Morris, N. (2012) Study skills connected: Using technology to support your studies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Introducing Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging tool. Strengths include the development of academic and research communities, and keeping up to date with relevant subjects and broader interests.

What to do:

  • Follow relevant organisations for your subject area – pick up on developing areas of your sector, breaking news, research and even graduate job opportunities.
  • Follow your university library – be the first to hear about new resources, events and support at @LeedsBeckettLibrary
  • Follow your lecturers – many academics are on twitter, they might share information relevant to your modules, and promote their own research projects or interests.
  • Use twitter advanced search to find information posted by organisations, professional bodies or industry experts
  • Twitter is great for following events, conferences and online debates. #Hashtags are used to tag tweets so they are easily searchable.

How to do it:

Tweets are limited to 140 characters; writing clearly and succinctly is a good academic skill to develop and can help you:

  • Summarise key themes or messages
  • Choose the most important information and omit that isn’t essential.
  • Help you get your message across clearly
  • Help you to reflect on practice
  • #Hashtags are used to make things easy to find online. Use them in posts on any platform so others can easily search and find you and your research. Search using Hashtags on any platform to explore content. Popular Hashtags for research include #phdchat #phd #phdforum #academia. See Hashtagify.me to search for popular Hashtags on any subject.

Adapted from: Cottrell, J. and Morris, N. (2012) Study skills connected: Using technology to support your studies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Introducing Facebook

Whether you  want to use Facebook socially, professionally, or both, there are some things you should consider:

  • Check privacy settings, consider who can view or comment on your profile
  • Each photo album has its own privacy settings, check these and share wisely
  • Don’t just rely on privacy settings, be digitally aware; remove negative comments, tags, photos, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want an employer to see
  • Look objectively at groups you have joined, do they reflect favourably on you?
  • Use ‘view as’ to see what your profile looks like to others
  • #Hashtags are used to make things easy to find online. Use them in posts on any platform so others can easily search and find you and your research. Search using Hashtags on any platform to explore content. Popular Hashtags for research include #phdchat #phd #phdforum #academia. See Hashtagify.me to search for popular Hashtags on any subject.

Adapted from: Cottrell, J. and Morris, N. (2012) Study skills connected: Using technology to support your studies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Social media in teaching

The A to Z of social media for academics

 

Why should academics use social media, and which are the best tools? This list from Times Higher Education and Andy Miah from the University of Salford is a monthly updated list of the top social media tools for academia.

Start a community

Toolkit

JISC Infonet toolkit about building online communities for business and community engagement with higher education.

Share your work

Slideshare is a great free tool you can use to share your work. Upload your PowerPoints and share on other social media platforms, and find other peoples presentations too. 

Keeping up to date

This recorded session tells you how to automatically collect new journal articles and Tables of Content in your research area, and track updates and changes on professional blogs and websites.  

Literature searching

This recorded session focuses on the purposes of literature reviews as well as on the style in which they are written and how they can be organised. 

Academic Support Librarians

Academic social networks

Please note, in order for research outputs to be considered for the REF, it needs to be deposited in our Repository.

Enables academics to share their research, monitor analytics and track other people's research.

Collection of recent blog posts about using social media for research collaboration.

Online academic research networks in the humanities and social sciences.

Useful tips from the Careers Service.

A social network for researchers at Reading University.

Multidimensional online network for researchers, from students to professors, engaged in research methods. Sponsored by SAGE publishers.

Find, use and share scientific workflows and other research objects, and build communities.

Free networking website where researchers worldwide can connect, collaborate, find the best jobs, and access independent consultancy opportunities.

Networking tool for scientists.

Brief overview of networks such as LinkedIn and Academia.edu, with examples of academic researchers using them.