Researchers are no longer to limited to disseminating their findings solely by publishing articles in journals. Social media is increasingly being used as a platform for experts to share their research findings, as well as allowing them to market and promote their published works. By following experts in your field through social media you can keep up with the very latest in what's happening in your area of interest.
Whilst there are many social media platforms that you can use to follow experts in your field, this section focuses on just two: Twitter and blogs.
It is very important to evaluate to evaluate the information you find through social media to ensure that it meets the criteria for scholarly content. Check out the 'Evaluating Information' tab in this guide to discover how to evaluate what you find.
Tip: The Library runs online workshops on using social media to develop personal learning networks (PLNs), called 'Learn to Connect: Developing your PLN'.
Blogs are typically used by researchers to reach wider audiences. Unlike journal articles, blog content typically utilises a plain English language style instead of discipline-specific jargon and scholarly expression. Blogs can be good sources of information, however the credibility of blogs can vary. This is why it is important to evaluate what you find.
Tip: Use a blog feed reader such as Feedly to view and keep track of the blog posts you've read, all in the one place.
Hashtags are a way of grouping together twitter posts, or 'tweets', by topic.
There is a lot of information available on the web! Searching Twitter by using hashtags, in combination with keyword searching, allows you to limit the flow of information to your specific interests. The example below uses the hashtag #nutrition and the keyword 'study'.