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More People Look At Research If It Is Promoted Via Social Media, A Case Study

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:

  1. She used the institutional Open Access Repository – “Discovery“ to make the paper downloads available.
  2. She wrote a blog post about each research project.
  3. She talked about her work and papers on Twitter.
More people looked at those papers that she had promoted via social media. They had 10+times the number of downloads compared to the papers only added to the institutional repository.

“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.

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