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Social media for research: Home

About this guide


This guide explores some of the many social media platforms and provides information resources to help you consider how social media might be useful to you in research.

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

General guidance about social media and academia


Impact and altmetrics

What is impact and what are altmetrics?

Altmetrics allow people to measure and monitor the reach and impact of scholarship and research through online interactions. Altmetrics stands for "alternative metrics." The "alternative" part references traditional measurements of academic success such as citation counts, journal prestige (impact factor), and author H-index. Altmetrics are meant to complement, not totally replace, these traditional measures. Supporters of the altmetrics movement believe that doing so will give a more complete picture of how research and scholarship is used. Simply, altmetrics are metrics beyond traditional citations. 

What can social media do for me?

Using this guide, you'll see how social media can help you at all stages of your research: from exploration to engagement, from planning to publicising, and much more.

A-Z of Social Media (Times Higher Education)

Ethics of social media research

With ready access to a vast range of people and data, social media offers much potential for conducting research. However, the ethical framework relating to research using social media has not been very well-developed, and there are still many questions for a would-be social media researcher to consider.

Some library books (print and ebook) about social media

The small print

When the Major Home Oil Dealer Ran Out of Fuel a Special Board Was Activated for Emergency Deliveries. More Than 250 Homes Were without Oil. Closeup of Cards on the Wall Listed Priorities 10/1973Social media is a fast-moving, ever-expanding area. Therefore, this guide just highlights a selection of resources, particularly those which are well-used by researchers, are free, and relatively stable.