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Home No. 86: Should I Post My Research Results on a Social Media Site?

Aug 15

No. 86: Should I Post My Research Results on a Social Media Site?

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Should I Post My Research Results on a Social Media Site?

Reader question: I was thinking of using a social media site to disseminate some research findings. I think conversation gleaned from the comments might help provide a more well-rounded final report. Is this is good idea?

Expert comments:

This is probably not the best approach, for several reasons.

First, if your project was supported by a grant, you must comply with the granting agency’s rules on research dissemination. The funder may not want you to share your results on social media sites and may prefer you publish them in a peer-reviewed journal.

Publishing your results in a journal is also in your best interest professionally. A well-respected journal is where most of your colleagues look for groundbreaking research. And a journal article looks much better on a CV than a social media posting.

Journal publication also confers credibility. When your colleagues read your work there, they know it has undergone peer review and an editorial process that should prevent conflicts of interest. Plus, the journal may have additional editorial content devoted to putting your research results in expert perspective.

Finally, posting your results on social media sites could cause copyright issues because journals own the copyright of anything they publish.

Expert comments by William L. Allen, Associate Professor and Director of the Program in Bioethics, Law, and Medical Professionalism at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Comments (7)
Should I Post My Research Results on a Social Media Site?
written by Richard, August 15, 2011
This is another example of 'social media' getting out of hand.

I'm going to make an assumption that this is in probably a very young investigator and either has not talked to her/his Mentor or the Mentor is not doing the young investigator any service in maintaining contact and guiding the investigator along.

It might be wise to also check with the institution about their particular policy as it pertains to posting to 'social media' sites research that has not been peer reviewed.
University Librarian
written by Revolutionary, August 15, 2011
I predict at some point there will be "Discussion" groups on Facebook (or similar) for every niche of science. Maybe not the original paper; that may still appear in a journal of record. But those are getting few and far between. Newshounds have their snouts in all major meetings and a lot of minor stuff (e.g. The Scientist and Fierce Bio, etc). So what's the difference--except snob value--in saying you read it in those tipsheets or on Facebook?. In fact, maybe they themselves will move to Facebook et al. What did Tofler call it? "Future Shock".
written by David E. Harrison, August 15, 2011
Totally agree that "When your colleagues read your work .., they know it has undergone peer review and an editorial process that should prevent conflicts of interest."
But what about unpublishable negative results? All experienced researchers hate the fact that many things we have tried and know will not work are still being tried by others, wasting time and money. Maybe someone (not facebook probably) will set up a site for unpublishable results indexed by area and sub speciality, to avoid duplication of wasted time!
social media expert advice?
written by lab tech, August 15, 2011
um, you might want to check to make sure your social media links are working before writing a blog about social media.
Interested Party
written by Scott, August 15, 2011
I would ask three questions:
1)My question is slightly different, I agree that posting findings might not be in the best interest of the researcher, but what if you post a PubMed Link or a link to your journal publication?
2)If you posted on a social media site and you cite the publication, how is that different than a news organization using the information or the individual lab website?
3)Lastly, while 99.x% of researchers use credible journals for research, contrast that to almost 50M Facebook users between the ages of 18-34 in the US alone (328M worldwide), isn’t using other sources to promote your research just smart? Are you more likely to catch a Post-Doc on Facebook than you are in a journal (FYI: Nature has 57,000 followers on Facebook)? If a pharma company just stuck to billboards, would they be missing the point of advertising? While researchers probably don’t want to go the way of wholesale selling of product like business does, can’t they learn a thing or two on how to do PR?
written by curious, August 15, 2011
and what about science specific social media like Research Gate? Old hands may remember discussion groups, usenet, and email listservs...
respond this topic
written by MONAPRATT26, August 16, 2011
Different people in the world receive the personal loans in different banks, because it's fast and easy.

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