networkedscholar, Research

Being A Networked Scholar

Using social media and being a networked scholar allows provides you with an online, research presence and connects you to academics inside and outside your field. The power of open, social networks, allows academic to connect to research and researchers across disciplines. Consider all the ways you can collaborate and share in social media. A growing number of scholars have adopted and joined these online scholarly communities to meet other like-minded scholars, solicit for research support, share project progress, and disseminate findings beyond a conference publication or journal article. A core value of open, online networked scholarship is it is “a place where scholars can congregate to share their work, ideas and experiences” (Veletsianos, 2013, p. 648).  There are a number of researcher identification and citation tools connected to social media sites and scholarly metrics. Teaching and research information are being distributed and shared across platforms and communities.

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“It is a critical time to rethink how research is produced, distributed, and acknowledged.”

(Pasquini, Wakefield, Reed & Allen, 2014, p. 1567).

As I investigate workplace learning and performance, it has been helpful to blog and bounce ideas off on others on Twitter. I have used Mendeley to work on literature reviews, Google+ hangouts for research team meetings, Google documents for collaborative writing/research, searched Academia.edu or ResearchGate to access publications, and posted academic results to SlideShare. These are just a few ways I like to “show my work” and work in the open as a scholar. Being social and online allows me to reflect on my academic teaching and research scholarship experiences, and it has connected me to a great number of academics who I learn and research among.

If you or another academic colleague are thinking about how social media and networks can impact your teaching, research, and service scholarship, then here are a few insights George & I shared via Royal Roads University post on networked scholarship.

Network with colleagues

Higher education faculty and academics are adopting social media in growing numbers. A 2011 survey, for example, found that 45 % of higher education respondents use Facebook for professional, non-classroom purposes. Joining social media networks allows scholars to connect with colleagues, offer resources and discuss issues of professional interest.

Solicit feedback and reflect on your research and teaching

Academics increasingly share their work online, often engaging in activities that impact practice. Academic-focused social networking sites, such as Academia.edu and Mendeley, and general interest sites such as Twitter and SlideShare provide scholars with places to distribute, discuss and expand on their research and teaching.

Reach multiple audiences

In sharing in open social networks, scholars enter into an interdisciplinary territory and often break down barriers between academic disciplines. Not only are the traditional walls of the academy thinner online, but academic work could reach broader audiences, such as practitioners and journalists.

Cultivate your identity as a scholar

Social media and online networks allow scholars to manage their online identity, track their citations, identify their spheres of influence and connect with colleagues. These tools support different ways in which knowledge can be produced, shared, negotiated and acknowledged. Learn more about a few of these tools here and here.

Become more open

Using social media and online social networks means being a tad more open, and that’s good for all of us. Openness is the practice of sharing resources and materials (e.g., syllabi, lectures, research papers) in a way that allows others to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute them. Social media and online social networks often support an ethos of openness, enabling academics to share their work more frequently. A more open approach to scholarship allows knowledge and education to flow more freely and to be used more widely.

What advice do you give early career researchers and academics who are just getting started with social media?

I am not naive to say that being a networked, social scholars does not have any issues. What challenges do you see in being part of the “open” and involved in networked scholarship? Let me know. A follow-up blog post on this particular question and issue to come…

References:

Pasquini, L., Wakefield, J., Reed, A. & Allen, J. (2014). Digital Scholarship and Impact Factors: Methods and Tools to Connect Your Research. In Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2014 (pp. 1564-1569). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 1, 2015 from http://www.editlib.org/p/148918.

Veletsianos, G. (2013). Open Practices and Identity: Evidence from Researchers and Educators’ Social Media Participation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(3), 639-651.

A version of this blog post is cross-posted on the Royal Roads University website.

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networkedscholar

Once A Networked Scholar… Always One? #scholar14

 

Social media is my thing (so I’ve heard). Really, the THING about social media is the SOCIAL. Throughout my personal, professional and academic career, I have touted the value of my personal learning network on Twitter. I give credit to this 140-character medium as it daily contributes to my literature review, data collection, and connected engage in my discipline.

I am not alone in the love of Twitter and scholarship. Other academics have identified value in Twitters’s role for scientific publication and power of dissemination when shared among the network of scholars. In contrast, there is a dark side to being in this particular space (“they” say). I shared this article earlier in the stream today, “To tweet or not to tweet: academic freedom and social media” – if you have not read it,  you should. This article is one of MANY that calls into question the use and impact of social media networks in academia. As an early career researcher, I am interested in learning more about the impacts to the field and the influence digital scholarship has for teaching, learning, service and research scholarship. {More on this research and work… to come.}

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I have a number of questions that need answers on the networked/digital scholar topic:

  • How will social networks shape tenure and promotion?
  • What issues do academics face, when being active in social media spaces?
  • What challenges will emerge with the use of transmedia for research and learning in post-secondary education?
  • Will digital scholarship impact and shift how tenure and promotion?
  • What other influences should be considered for impact factors and scholarly contributions?
  • How does the digital influence our own doctoral programs & preparation?
  • How digital influence truly effect impact factors for research? Should it?
  • What information do we know about “the networked scholar”?

These are just a few of my questions. I have more. I signed up for George’s (@veletsianos) Networked Scholar (#scholar14) MOOC to continue this dialogue and bat around a few ideas with other interested scholars. I am looking forward to continuing my meanderings on my blog and, of course, on the Twitters => #scholar14 Won’t you join in the discussion and banter as well? http://networkedscholars.net/