Using Social Media for Research

Author bio: Alex Petryck is an average college student who loves to educate and bring something new and interesting to the society. He works as a freelance writer and helps other students with their research papers. You can contact him via twitter @AlexPetryck

How to Use Social Media for Research Projects

Social media use is widely used in society today. It’s an aspect of life, social, education, working and family life. There are over a billion active Facebook users in the world. Another 500 million are active on Twitter, while over 72 billion videos are uploaded on YouTube each minute.  There are also millions of Wikis around the world.

The question that begs an answer is, “Are you using social media to research projects apart from communicating and interacting with your fans and friends?” Truth is, this is possible especially when it comes to discovering information, collaborating with others around given topics, getting peer reviews from interested parties, and sharing such research materials or findings with others. Here is the blueprint for this.

Discovering Resources

Use social Bookmarking sites- Depending with your research the following social tools can help. Pinterest is great for searching pinned images, videos, and other online resources. Delicious helps one find topics, and Scoop creates a topic-centric media collecting the jewels among the relevant streams of information.

Use Social Citation Tools. Use Mendeley on academic research search and import papers that are related to your project, connect and join forces with other fellow researchers, or generate bibliographies. Personal assistant Zotero  gathers all your sources in a single searchable interface for you to grab your research in just a few clicks. CiteULike finds and manages scholarly references.

Get on Twitter. Twitter is the largest social media research source with over 400 million tweets and 1.6 billion queries posted every day. You can use it to follow industry experts, search trends or activities, and events using #hashtags. Twitter also shares knowledge, ideas and links that enable others contribute with questions, reflections and discussions and build groups, courses and collaborating communities around your projects.

Use Facebook groups and pages. Facebook groups are important for closed projects, courses, and exchanging ideas.

Use LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn groups are organized around research projects on the topic and industry you write about. Make one to speak directly to people who are experts in the field, read, and discuss their opinion on the matter.

Collaborating and Creating

An open scholar makes his work digitally accessible and welcomes critics. They allow secondary use of parts, or the whole piece, at any stage of its development.

Use a Wiki-One can add new or edit the existing content. Use Wetpaint, Wikispaces, PBWiki, Google Drive, or Google Sites, who promote participation, information sharing, crowdsourcing, collaboration, engagement and creation.

Use Blogs-Some of the most popular blogging tools include WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc.

Peer-Reviews

Peer reviews help get feedback on your research projects from peers and true professionals in your particular field. Here are few great social tools to use:

  • ResearchGate – it’s built for scientists by scientists with an idea that science can advance if it is driven by mutual collaboration.
  • Method Space – a social network for students, professors and research experts who work with such methods.
  • Nature Network – a professional networking website where scientists from all over the world who gather, share and discuss ideas and stay in close contact.
  • Academia.edu – a platform where academics share their research papers to help accelerate the research processes in the world.

Sharing

Social media tools can share your research projects. You can try to communicate your findings using your own voice because it will be better understood by the general public, the politics, and possibly better implemented in our real lives. Share your researches using videos or other multimedia. Use SlideShare for PowerPoint presentations, PDF portfolios and Word documents, organize and share your ideas using the Prezi presentation tool, or publish your whole research as an e-book using Docstoc, Scribd, Yudu, Simple Booklet, Youblisher, etc.

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