Survey on academics’ use of social media

In January I conducted an online survey to find out how academics are using social media sites and tools. A total of 711 faculty members and postgraduate students completed the survey, mostly from the UK, Australia/New Zealand and North America.

The complete report can be accessed here.

Here is the abstract providing an overview of the findings:

This report outlines findings from an international online survey of 711 academics about their use of social media as part of their work conducted in January 2014. The survey sought to identify the tools that the respondents used, those they found most useful and the benefits and the drawbacks of using social media as a university faculty member or postgraduate student. The results offer insights into the sophisticated and strategic ways in which some academics are using social media and the many benefits they have experienced for their academic work. These benefits included connecting and establishing networks not only with other academics but also people or groups outside universities, promoting openness and sharing of information, publicising and development of research and giving and receiving support. While the majority of the respondents were very positive about using social media, they also expressed a range of concerns. These included issues of privacy and the blurring of boundaries between personal and professional use, the risk of jeopardising their career through injudicious use of social media, lack of credibility, the quality of the content they posted, time pressures, social media use becoming an obligation, becoming a target of attack, too much self-promotion by others, possible plagiarism of their ideas and the commercialisation of content and copyright issues. The report ends by contextualising the findings within the broader social and political environment and outlining areas for future research.

10 thoughts on “Survey on academics’ use of social media

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  10. Hello Deborah really interesting post, I was recently reading an interview with a professional skateboarder and I was initially surprised to see how closely his own concerns with how social media has impacted skateboarding parallel the concerns sociology academics have with how social media has impacted their own work. This moved me to write my own short article drawing upon your research in order to explore what this means for society as a whole. If you’re interested I have included a link to my article below. https://thinksocialtheory.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/skateboarding-academia-and-beyond-in-the-age-of-social-media/

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