Social Media for Research / Les médias sociaux pour la recherche

David Phipps, RIR-York
Can you use social media in your research? Yes! Can you build capacity among research administrators to help researchers use social media in you research? Yes, and Krista Jensen (@atomickitty) shows you how.
Pouvez-vous utiliser les médias sociaux dans vos recherches? Oui! Pouvez-vous développer les compétences des administrateurs de la recherche afin d’aider les chercheurs à employer les médias sociaux dans leurs recherches? Oui, et Krista Jensen (@atomickitty) vous montre comment cela peut être fait.
York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit has been actively building capacity for social media as a tool for research dissemination and engagement. In 2012, we published a book chapter that presented some social media tools and how they can be used in research and knowledge mobilization. Last year we also provided a variety of social media workshops including on overview of social media, a 2.5 hour twitter for learning and research workshop, a wordpress workshop as well as a workshop on building a social media strategy.
Krista Jensen (@atomickitty)
Krista Jensen (@atomickitty)
This year we were invited by the organizers of the annual Canadian Association of University Research Administrators (CAURA) to host a workshop on social media. The audience was research administrators but the objective was supporting social media strategies for research projects (even though we frequently delved into social media as a tool to support the research services office). Increasingly granting agencies are demanding knowledge mobilization or knowledge translation strategies for grant applications. In February 2012, we gave a knowledge mobilization webinar for CAURA. Increasingly these knowledge mobilization strategies involve social media. Hence the CAURA workshop this year.
We had 13 people show up, which was ideal. There was some hands on group work that would not have been feasible with a larger group. The presentation is available below or here on the KMbYork Slide Share account.
Some of the issues raised by the group included:
  • Resourcing – who does this and how do you pay for it?> Make it someone’s job and ensure research grant budgets have line items for social media including for purchasing pro accounts (an eligible expense on many granting programs)
  • Risks – do you need policies to manage risk created by social media?> Social media is just another channel… have policies to manage risk and ensure that social media use is anticipated in those policies
  • Role of corporate communications?> A great ally so long as they serve for more than brand stewardship
  • Volume – how to manage the volume when you already can’t get through all your e mail?> See resourcing and make it someone’s job for the research office or the research program.
The audience was very engaged. Krista Jensen put the session together and presented 95% of it. The audience appreciated her experience and wisdom. Everyone came back after break (in fact, we picked up one person!). Email and blackberries were almost wholly absent from the session (always a good sign) and evaluations were more than positive. Respondents were asked 5 questions with a maximum score of 5. We received 10 evaluations for a total possible score of 250. Krista received a score of 243/250, a score of 97.2%. And when asked who was thinking differently after the session every hand went up. When asked who will be acting differently after the session about 80% of the hands stayed up.
Thanks Krista for the excellent workshop. And thanks to Gary Myers (@kmbeing) who came along as a social media and knowledge mobilization expert to lend his experience to the discussion.

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