Clinical Chemistry

Reasons why scientists should embrace social media

1. Social media can be used to identify research opportunities and find collaborators.

2. You can get real-time feedback from other researchers, helping you refine your research questions, methods, and interpretation of experimental results, well before the formal publication stage.

3. You can easily get this feedback from a larger, more geographically and disciplinarily diverse base of expertise than you would likely reach via traditional means.

4. From a more altruistic perspective, other researchers can benefit from online transparency and accessibility, often in ways that cannot happen in traditional media. For example, lab methods or data collection instruments can be demonstrated in photographs or video (saving other researchers the trouble of trying to decipher complex methods sections if they’re interested in replicating specific protocols in their own work).

5. Blogging can help you become a better communicator, by improving writing skills and language proficiency.

6. Sometimes journalists get it wrong. You can tell the public about your research in your own words.

7. Blogs, by their very nature, permit the rapid distribution of information to a very wide public audience. Your new paper will get more attention and readership if it gets cross-posted on multiple blogs and Twitter than if it only gets delivered to paying subscribers of a particular journal.

8. You can access alternative modes of funding for your research.

9. It is fun; also personally and intellectually rewarding.

10. Soon, everybody will be doing it: get with the program.


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