• Mercè Bonjorn Dalmau

Why should researchers use Social Media?

When one does an academic, scientific or research work, what they are primarily seeking is to learn, deepen and focus on a specific topic. A fundamental part of scientific work is the communication of results and research through publishing papers in scientific journals and the sector to generate an impact on society.


As my project partner Dominic O 'Connor points out, in his previous post "as researchers, we have the social responsibility to disseminate the results of our research to the public. In fact, we owe this to the people who fund our research. "Although, how do I get the right people to the topic of my research and interact with them? How to generate impact and visibility to our work?

There are countless social networks of all kinds

Kaplan and Haenlein, in 2012, claimed that social media offers an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to analyze and decrypt new types of data, to communicate and interact with users / consumers and to help organizations to be prepared for this new era of mobile applications and the Internet.

Social Media networks

Publishing relevant papers is the late motiv of any researcher. The relevance of the research work is always given by the impact on dissemination and communication. The idea is to make snowball effect by creating a strategy of dissemination of scientific work through multichannel. For this reason, it is currently relevant to publish our research work in Social Media.

There are seven functional blocks of influence in any social network, Kietzman et al. (2011). They are the following: presence, sharing, identity, relationships, conversations, groups and reputation. It depends on the type of social network you have more influence in one block than on another. Hence the importance of creating a solid and coherent strategy with the objectives of the research.


There is a large number of scientific journals in which to publish the studies, countless repositories in which to deposit the articles and there is also a wide range of general and specialized social networks that can achieve a viralization of the research.

Specialized platforms for researchers

In addition, scientific social networks aim to increase the visibility and dissemination of scientific production, promote networking, facilitate the search for employment and offer alternative metrics on the impact of their works. The networks that have really managed to position themselves in the market and become the favorites of the scientific community are Academia, ResearchGate and Mendeley.

information knowledge essence


  • Gaining professional visibility and credibility. Reputation Building.

  • Networking: it is easier to go to talk to people or call them when you are following them on social media.

  • Participation of a project online from anywhere.

  • Event information: finding out about interesting events and following events if participating was not possible.

  • Finding information about project calls, projects, new trends, and ideas.

  • Following professionally relevant news anywhere and anytime through mobile.

  • Gaining an idea of ​​someone's personality by following their social media activities.

  • It allows us to create our virtual personal identity, allowing users to share all kinds of information (hobbies, beliefs, ideologies, etc.).

  • Facilitate relationships between people avoiding all kinds of barriers, mainly physical ones.

  • It facilitates the obtaining of information, since it is constantly updated in your topic.

  • They facilitate the integral online learning, allowing to settle the acquired knowledge.

  • Circulate working papers for comments by the scholarly community.

  • Search for collaborators.


  • Socially isolated from the current world, does not let us show ourselves as we are, without any fear of saying what we really think or what we try to make ourselves. Transforming our personality.

  • Allows anonymity (hence the proliferation of trolls, bots, ...)

  • Identity theft (when you are SM personality).

  • Encourages procrastination (habit of delaying activities or situations that should be addressed).

  • Impossible to follow all!

How to start?

Here you have the first essential steps to get started in Social Media if you are a researcher:

  • Share your work with your social networks - Facebook and Twitter - adapting language in the post.

  • Update your professional profile - LinkedIn.

  • Utilize Research-sharing platforms - ResearchGate, Mendeley,, …

  • Create a Google Scholar profile – or review and enhance your exiting one (allow you to track citations to your publications, and have them appear in Google Scholar search results for your name).

  • Highlight key and topical points in a blog post. Your homepage or blog is your house!

  • Use Youtube - Video content is increasingly popular for sharing info & ideas.

  • Make your research outputs shareable and discoverable.

  • Register for a unique ORCID author identifier.

If you want to know more about Why should researchers use Social Media? [video], here is the pdf of the presentation I made with the most relevant of the session prepared for PhD Club in the Kolding Campus of the SDU (the full presentation is on SlideShare channel).


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