Melissa Terras from London’s Global University asked two questions: What would happen to her research work if she distributed it via social media? And, would it affect how much her research was read, known, discussed, distributed?
Here’s what she did to test it:
- She used the institutional Open Access Repository – “Discovery“ to make the paper downloads available.
- She wrote a blog post about each research project.
- She talked about her work and papers on Twitter.
“Upon blogging and tweeting, within 24 hours, there were, on average, 70 downloads of my papers. Now, this might not be internet meme status, but that’s a huge leap in interest.”
Melissa is not the only person producing research in her department. However, she is the only one actively promoting her work using social media. In her latest article “The impact of social media on the dissemination of research: results of an experiment” published in the Journal of Digital Humanities she summarizes the results:
What became clear to me very quickly was the correlation between talking about my research online and the spike in downloads of my papers from our institutional repository. (…) Academics need to work on their digital presence to aid in the dissemination of their research, to both their subject peers and the wider community.
- What happens when you tweet an Open Access Paper? – Discusses the correlation between talking about an individual paper online, and seeing its downloads increase.
- Is blogging and tweeting about research papers worth it? – Discusses the overall effect of this process on all my papers: highlighting what I think the benefits of Open Access are.
- When was the last time you asked how your published research was doing? – Talks about the link between publishers and Open Access, and how little we know about how much our research is accessed once it is published.