Social media and your research

It can be beneficial to share your research on social media with the community, as it can lead to more  people reading your published articles or providing feedback, says Subject Librarian Lucie Goudie.

Everyone considers their research valuable. By sharing it, generating feedback and tracking its usage we can add even greater value and exposure. Social media is the perfect tool for this. Using social media to share your research can result in higher download counts and potentially higher citations. It can lead to exchange and collaboration with other researchers, and importantly it’s quick, easy and free.

Melissa Terras, University College London, says:
"If you want people to read your papers, make them open access, and let the community know (via blogs, twitter, etc) where to get them. Not rocket science. But worth spending time doing";  (Terras 2012).

Let’s look at some ways to share your research across social media:

General tips

When working with social media you need to establish a digital presence to meet a larger online audience. You can attract loyal followers by regularly posting, reposting and offering a  range of emotions and opinions to maintain interest. You can easily measure your popularity by monitoring statistics on downloads, likes, dislikes and links

Open access

By publishing your research on an open access platform you can generate scholarly use, producing greater download counts and citation usage. By taking this initial step you open your research up to the public, increasing its impact. Find out all you need to know about  publishing in an open access journal.

LinkedIn could almost be considered a Facebook for professionals. It allows you to manage your professional identity and build networks across your field. With a strong emphasis on professional networking, it’s a great way to share your research.

You can readily share your research across Twitter. It offers quick links, uncomplicated uploads and it’s free. Opportunities for conversation and collaboration with other researches can also be developed through resulting tweets. Make sure you post at times when people are likely to respond; not 3am on a Saturday morning!


Similar to twitter, blogging offers informal conversation to promote your research. It’s an easy platform to add presentation slides, videos & link other supporting data. Blogs also work well for researchers collaborating in small groups and for generating exchange on research topics. When writing blogs, don’t hold back. Share your knowledge and opinions, but keep it informal, short and ‘punchy’.

By setting up a YouTube account you can upload videos of conference sessions, discussions, and show evidence of results.Quick tip; make sure to add written script; YouTube is renowned for automated subtitle faux pas’!  You can easily link to these videos from other social media formats. Like all other social media you can measure the number of ‘views’, ‘likes’ or ‘dislikes’. These may even translate into increased downloads and citations of your research.


Monash.Figshare is a repository where you can make all of your research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner. You have options to contain private data within a closed group or open it up to share on the public domain including social media.

The best thing about figshare is that it has an ‘altmetric badge’ that can automatically track all the discussion your research has generated on social media.

With all the social media platforms available it’s hard to know where to start. Looking beyond social media trends of Trump gaff’s and Kanye West’s sneakers is the first step. The next, is  recognising that social media is a serious option to promote your research and gain greater exposure. All you need to do is sign up!

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About Rosemary Miller

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