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Scientists Share Insights On How They Use Social Media

Here are a couple of things I found interesting: 

  • Scientists use those social media tools that they know others (colleagues etc.) use.
  • Twitter seems the exception:  Scientist may use Twitter (whether their colleagues use it or not) to follow science news feeds and people with interest in science. They appreciate that the breaking news coming out of  Twitter are sometimes faster than the BBC. They tweet  about their research and the research done by others.
  • Some use social media tools to increase their chances of being identified as an expert in a certain field.
  • Blogging and peer-reviewed publications don’t exclude each other: One researcher shares his experience how some of his blog posts have sparked follow-up discussions, have matured into scholarly articles and “accelerated the progress of science”. He also mentions that in some cases he gets more feedback (comments) on a blog post than giving a talk at a conference.
  • Preserving precious work: Some write blog posts based on tutorials, seminars which they developed for their students, designed to explain things in the best way.
  • Libel actions can become an issue, but it seems users of social media tools learn to deal with those as they go along.
  • Mendeley seems popular: Scientists use it to find papers that are relevant to their research concept and what others have published in a certain area.
  • Other tools they mention include SlidesharePapers (a social paper management tool), Google docs, Google calendar, Wikipedia, Astrophysics Data System (a digital library portal for researchers in Astronomy and Physics) and arxiv.
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